Skip to main content

Full text of "Greek Immigration to the United States"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on Hbrary shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/| 


• • • -• 

• • • 
-•• • 

• " -• 

• •, 

• • 



c;rep;k immigration 




■.1 !! \V!.,\"- \ ■- 











Yale UinTBBsrrT Pmm 

Pint printed February, 101 1, looo copie* 

i 61 575 


• •• • 
• •• 

"• • • • 


• •• 

• • 


• • 

• • 

• •• 

• « 

• • 

• • 

• •• 

• • 


• • 



« 1 

► • • • 

1 • 


• • • • • 

• • 

• • 

• • 

• • 

• • 

• • 

. ,* 


• • • • 

• « 


* • • • 

• • 
• • 

• • 
• • 


• • • 

• • 



• • 

• • 

• • 



THIS work was prepared as a part of the requirements 
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, in connection 
with the Department of Anthropology in Yale University. 
The effort was made to secure for it the merit which 
attaches to a scientific production, and in so far as this 
effort has been successful it is in large measure due to the 
scholarly atmosphere in which the work was done. It was 
also carried on under the auspices of the Carnegie Institu- 
tion of Washington. To it I am deeply indebted for 
financial assistance, without which the work must have 
been much more limited in scope. 

Inasmuch as the book is based almost wholly on per- 
sonal investigation, I am aware that it is open to the 
inaccuracies which beset that kind of a study. I have 
selected my sources of information with the greatest care, 
and have taken pains to avoid making any positive state- 
ments unless I was myself convinced of the truth of them ; 
yet there are undoubtedly errors due to faulty judgment. 
My hope is that on the whole my opinions and conclusions 
are not too widely at variance with those which a complete 
knowledge of all the facts would justify. The same causes 
have necessitated the frequent use of the first personal 
pronoun, which is undesirable but unavoidable. 

In some cases I have felt compelled to suppress the exact 
identity of my informants, as their position and the nature 
of the information furnished by them have been such as to 
lead them to request expressly that their names should not 
be mentioned. 



The meagemess of the bibliography is due to the fact 
that practically nothing has been written directly on the 
subject, outside of a few magazine articles, and it can 
serve for little else than incidental reference. 

In an undertaking of this kind, I have put myself under 
obligation to a very large number of people. Men and 
women from every station of life, both Americans and 
Greeks, on both sides of the Atlantic, have put their time 
and their information freely at my disposal. To try to 
acknowledge even a few of these debts individually is out 
of the question. Let me briefly, but sincerely, express my 
deep gratitude to every one of the many by whose kind 
consideration the prosecution of the work was made 

I cannot forbear, however, to mention the names of a 
small number whose connection with the work has been 
such as to render my obligation to them quite distinct. 
Foremost among these is Professor Albert 6. Keller, under 
whose personal guidance the work was carried on. In 
ways too numerous to mention, he has shown his interest in 
the undertaking, and his advice and inspiration have been 
invaluable. To Professor Walter F. Willcox, of the 
Carnegie Institution, I also feel a personal obligation for 
kindly interest, advice and encouragement. Three friends 
in Greece to whom I feel sincerely grateful for valuable 
assistance, and many kincmesses, are Consul-Greneral 
George W. Horton in Athens (now of Saloniki), and 
Consul Edward Nathan (now of Mersine), and Vice- 
consul H. J. Woodley in Patras. 

New Haven, January, 1911. 


Part I. 

The Conditions^ Causes and Sources of Emigration. 

Chapter I. The Physical Environment ... 3 

Chapter II. National Character 12 

Chapter III. Religion and Language .... 42 

Chapter IV. The Direct Causes of Emigration . 58 

Chapter V. The Sources and Means of Emigration 88 

Part II. 

The Greeks in the United States. 

Chapter VI. Stetistical Review 109 

Chapter VII. Greek Colonies in the United States 119 

Chapter VIII. Economic Conditions l65 

Chapter IX. Social Conditions 191 

Part III. 

Effects of Immigration. 

Chapter X. Effects on the Immigrants 215 

Chapter XI. Effects on Greece 220 

Chapter XII. Effects on the United States . . . 286 



A Future American Frontispiece. 

Corfu Opposite page 6 

Typical Dwellings 86 

Monk and Acoljte 48 

Peasant Plowing with Wooden Plow 61 

Plant of the Soci6te Hellenique de Vins et Spiritueux^ 

Fleusis 67 

Harbor of Patras by Night 81 

Tsipiana 90 

A Scene on Board Ship ^ 102 

Immigrants on Board 118 

Greek Orthodox Church, Lowell 141 

Bootblack Shop and Two of the Boys, New Haven . 179 

Immigrants Embarking for the United States at Patras 210 

Women Washing at the Fountain^ Tsipiana . 218 

Public Square, Tripolis 229 

Peasant Types, Megalopolis 248 



FIVE centuries ago there lay before the European races 
a third of the entire land surface of the world, newly 
opened. But few obstacles, and those easily superable, 
opposed the occupation of the temperate portions of this 
new earth. Thus the whole equation between men and land 
underwent a momentous alteration, and one which can 
scarcely be repeated on this planet. The conjuncture, as 
Professor Sumner was wont to say, now came to be in 
favor of men. Under the freer conditions of life there 
resulted, of necessity, a thorough modification of the mode 
of society — of human customs, institutions, and philoso- 
phies. Before the race, now exempt from checks inherent 
in narrower and more exacting environmental conditions, 
and loosed from the social system developed under neces- 
sity of adaptation to them, there lay the possibility of an 
indefinite growth and expansion. In a very real sense 
humanity had a new chance; the most advanced and 
adaptable of human races could pick and choose from out 
of its past, and, so far as it was conscious of its situation, 
it could strive to make of its future something more 
rational, something at least partially disentangled from 
world-old drags upon progress.' 

Of the double continent then thrown open, the most con- 
siderable portion, suitable for permanent occupation, was 
the zone now included within the boundaries of our own 
country. Here it was that the men were wanted; there 
could not be too many of them. Quality was somewhat 
looked to, it is true, but quantity was the great desidera- 



turn. As time went on, and the nation grew and yet 
managed to keep its unity and to reduce the incoming 
aliens to its type, there arose a deep-seated conviction as 
to the incomparable and inexhaustible assimilating power 
of the nation. The crude ores dumped into the crucible 
might be what they might — ^the fusion would be thorough, 
the mold compellingly formative, the result sound and 

But there are signs in the present days that this con- 
viction is being shaken. As the country is filling up and 
as conditions are coming not so distantly to resemble those 
of older lands, the tendency is to think less of quantity and 
more of quality than heretofore. The strain to which the 
national power of assimilation is being subjected causes 
many to harbor concern as to the outcome. Some would 
limit immigration irrespective even of its quality ; few wish 
to see it as unrestricted as it used to be; and any citizen 
of sense realizes that we must know the facts about it. 
Any student of human society can see that as the popula- 
tion grows and presses ever more insistently upon the land, 
the issues surrounding the contact of races are bound to be 
vital and perhaps determinative of the destiny of the 

The reader of this book will learn much about on« of 
the new and characteristic groups of our fellow citizens. 
Their number is small, it is true, but the impressioh they 
yield is the more clear and definite. It is often impossible 
to analyze the large and complex cases with much success, 
until one has learned to know and to estimate the value of 
factors which remain somewhat isolated in the more re- 
stricted fields of observation. Further, it is peculiarly 
needful in investigation of immigration that the observer 



shall not be hampered in any avoidable way in getting at 
the circumstances and motives of the immigrant ; he should 
know the language, and the disposition, customs, and 
habitudes of the people he wishes to study ; and he should 
be able through sympathy to gain insight. As respects 
these considerations the following study has been carried 
out under the most favorable of auspices. 

A. 6. Kelleb. 
New Haven, January 21, 1911. 






• •! 



• .• 


The Physical Environment 

■j^OR the study of any group of people the fundamental 
^ basis is a survey of the nature of the country in 
which they are placed. The influence of physical environ- 
ment on the history and character of the races of men is 
a matter which is just beginning to be adequately com- 
prehended. The general idea is not new. It has long been 
vaguely understood that an elevated habitat tends to breed 
a hardy and independent race, that extreme heat and 
luxuriance of natural production are conducive to enerva- 
tion and indolence, that the temperate zone is best fitted 
to develop a progressive people. But the influence of 
man's natural surroundings is much more definite, funda- 
mental and far-reaching than this. Trade routes, political 
organizations and affiliations, the development of industry 
and agriculture, even national character and religion are 
intimately dependent on the physical surroundings in 
which a race is placed. In no phase of human activity is 
this more true than in the matter of the movement of 
peoples — ^in short, migration. Whether people shall move 
or not, where they shall go, what shall be their relation 
with the country of departure, are matters which depend 


• « 

• • 

• « 



very/.Iaifgely on the topography of the region in which 
tbej^'&d themselves placed. 

/^^cordingly, in undertaking a study of modem Greek 
eAiigration it is essential first of all to get a concise yet 
**.comprehensiYe view of the natural character of the region 
• in which this remarkable race has developed. When the 
word "Greece" is heard, it is natural first of all to think 
of the small and broken peninsula, stretching down from 
eastern Europe into the Mediterranean, which bears that 
name. This is indeed Greece proper, the cradle of the 
Hellenic race, the center of the ancient life and culture 
which have commanded the admiration of all civilized 
peoples for so many centuries. Yet a second consideration 
will reveal, perhaps to a surprising degree, how large and 
important a part of the truest Greek life was developed 
outside the bounds of the peninsula. Many of the most 
typical representatives of the ancient Greek race, such as 
Herodotus, Archimedes and Aristotle, were bom and lived 
outside of the limits of this district. What is perhaps the 
finest type of classical architecture, the Ionic, took its 
name from the coast of Asia Minor. Ancient Greece, 
broadly but truly speaking, included not only the peninsula 
but the Ionian Islands, the Archipelago, Crete, Cyprus, 
the coast of Asia Minor, the shores of the Bosphorus and 
the Black Sea, and even the borders of Italy and northern 
Africa. And so at the present time, if we wish to under- 
stand the modem Greek people, or, as in the present 
instance, to get at the sources of Greek emigration, we 
must bear in mind more than the European mainland, 
more even than the territory included in the Greek king- 
dom. A large proportion of the modem race, represent- 
ing a verj' important part of Greek life, is situated in 


other Mediterranean countries, especially in lands ruled 
over by the Turkish Sultan. Smyrna contains about the 
same number of Greeks as Athens, and Constantinople 
many more, probably more than Athens and the Piraeus 
together. But today, as of old, the peninsula is the heart 
of Greek life and the center of the phenomena of emigra- 
tion in which we are particularly interested. Let us glance 
hurriedly at the main features of this district, the general 
nature of which is so familiar that the briefest review will 
suffice to fix them in our minds. 

Greece proper is a very mountainous and deeply 
indented peninsula, almost severed by the Gulf of Corinth 
and the Gulf of iEgina, the two parts being joined by the 
narrow Isthmus of Corinth. In spite of the precipitous 
nature of much of the coast there are a number of excellent 
harbors. The most striking feature of the topography, 
next to the broken coast line, is the way in which the 
mountains break it up into a number of small and more 
or less isolated districts. The most important of these 
are the following. Beginning with the Macedonian border, 
there is the large plain of Thessaly, bounded by Mount 
Pindos and Mount Othrys. To the west is the large and 
very mountainous district of Epiros, with the small regions 
of Achamania and iEtolia to the south. Moving toward 
the Isthmus, there is Boeotia and Attica, separated from 
each other by Mounts Cithsron and Fames. Crossing 
into the Peloponnesus, there is the broken region of Achaia 
on the north, with the plain of Elis to the southwest and 
Argolis to the southeast. The central district is Arcadia, 
and the southern end of the peninsula is made up of 
Laconia and Messenia, separated by the towering Tay- 
getos range. These are only the main divisions. There 



are scores of smaller ones, all more or less separated from 
each other. The rest of the modem Greek world is made 
up for the most part of a large number of islands, and 
the coastal regions of Egypt, and European and Asiatic 

>^ Grenerally speaking, then, the home of the Greek race 
consists of a host of small habitation-districts, separated 
from each other by more or less impassable barriers of sea 
or land. Some of these are coastal regions along the 
eastern waters of the Mediterranean; some are islands; 
some are fertile districts on the European mainland, sepa- 
rated from each other by great chains of precipitous 
mountains. This is particularly true in the Peloponnesus. 
This half of the peninsula is composed of a series of tiny, 
fertile valleys or plains, marked off from each other by 
enormous walls of barren and rocky mountains, almost or 
wholly impassable, except for a few narrow passes, in 
themselyes sufficiently difficult. Perhaps nothing impresses 
the traveler through the Morea more than the roughness 
of the country and the difficulty of access from one region 
to another. The lines of railroad are one long succession 
of windings and twistings, of ascents and descents, with 
only occasional stretches of comparatively level track as 
one or another of the plains is reached. From Tripolis to 
Bilali (the branch station for Megalopolis) is 41.2 kilo- 
meters, or S6.6 miles, mostly down grade. The schedule 
time for passenger trains is one hour and fifty minutes. 
The little districts lying between these mighty barriers are 
often very alluring and of great fertility, but the great 
areas of the kingdom which are comprised in the barriers 
themselves are barren and inhospitable in the extreme. 
The effects of this peculiar environment on the Greek 



race, which are of especial importance in the present inves- 
tigation, are in the main twofold — ^the effect on the occu-:. 
pations of the people, and the effect on the national char- 
I acter. First, as regards occupations. Greece is of 
necessity primarily an agricultural country. There are 
a few mineral resources (see page 67), but they have never 
attained any great importance. Mining and manu- 
factures have never enjoyed a large development. The 
difficulties of communication, above noted, have had the 
effect of limiting the market, and this, as Adam Smith 
pointed out,'*' is one of the greatest hindrances to division 
of labor and hence to the development of industry. 

On the other hand, however, in the sheltered valleys and 
on the fertile uplands agricultural pursuits find a suitable 
field, and the vine, the olive tree, and the wheat plant have 
always flourished, furnishing an easy subsistence for a not 
too dense population. On the mountain slopes flocks of 
sheep and goats browse, furnishing materials for clothing 
as well as the comparative luxuries of milk, butter and 
cheese, and occasionally meat. It is comparatively easy 
to secure the bare necessities of life in Greece. But a 
strictly agricultural country is always threatened with 
over-population. By the law of Malthus, unless there is 
a steady improvement in the arts of living the population 
will always be pressing on the limits of subsistence. And 
in Greece, in the absence of industry, there has not been 
a sufficient improvement in the arts of agriculture to 
provide for the natural increase of the population. By 
the natural configuration of the country each small 
habitation-district is closely confined within itself. Any 
gradual extension of the territorial limits by a process of 
* Wealth of Nations, Book I., Chapter 3. 



slow indiyidoal migration by short stages is absolutely 
prohibitecL Bat the Greeks are a prolific race and there 
has consequently always been a surplus population, which 
has been forced to find an outlet for its activities in some 
new region apart from its native soiL On account of the 
very broken coast line of the peninsula, a great proportion ^ 
of the habitation-districts of the mainland, as well as of 
the islands, border on the sea. The result is that this 
surplus population has very largely taken to navigation 
and commercial pursuits, so that from time immemorial 
the Greeks have been a maritime people, the traders and 
carriers of the Lievant. ^h^<n^ ^^^♦V 

But many of the habitation-districts are in the interior 
and do not touch the sea, and from these too the surplus 
inhabitants have been forced to wander from their home 
fields, and either follow their low-country brothers out on 
the wide seas, or find a home on the shores of some distant 
land. Consequently in ancient times we find colonies set- 
ting out from Greece for widely scattered regions, and like- 
wise more recently, individually and in groups, Greeks 
have established themselves in sections of the Mediterra- 
nean lands, and in many more distant parts of the world's 

But though coming from agricultural regions and pur- 
suits, the Greek does not usually follow that line of occupa- 
tion in his adopted home. Especially in the Levant, the 
Greek is much superior in energy and business ability to 
the native peoples among whom he finds himself placed, and 
he has consequently found it to his advantage to devote 
himself to commercial rather than agricultural activities, 
with the result that he succeeds in building up a much 
greater fortune in his new home than he could ever have 



hoped to acquire in the fatherland. Today, the most 
prosperous business men of Alexandria, Cairo, Smyrna and 
Constantinople are largely Greeks, and even as far as 
Persia they are found in control of all important business. 
More isolated cases of successful Greek merchants are to be 
found in cities almost all over the world. Stated suc- 
cinctly, Greece has always been a splendid place to go 
away from to make a fortune, and the very topographical 
peculiarities which have forced the Greeks to wander, have 
produced a race admirably fitted to secure the desired end 
in new fields. Emigration from Greece is no new thing. 
But in times past the Greek emigrant always looked 
forward to eventual return, if possible, to his home land, 
where he might settle down in peace and quietude and 
spend the declining years of his life in the restful enjoy- 
ment of his acquired wealth. The ancient Greek colony 
was an ^iroucia and the colonist was an 3wouco9 — one who was 
away from home.* The tie with the mother city was a 
very close one and the highest aim of the ancient colony 
was to glorify and enrich the community from which it 
came. If in many cases the offspring outgrew and some- 
times rebelled against the parent, it was a later and some- 
what exceptional development. The attitude of the Greek 
emigrant toward his home land has remained very similar 
up to very recent times. How much of change the last 
few years have witnessed will appear later. 

The second effect of the physical environment which is 
of special importance in the present discussion is the effect 
on the national character of the Greeks. It would be 
overstraining a good point to claim that all the intri- 
cacies of the Hellenic character are due to the natural 

* Keller, Colonizatioii, p. 48. 



surrounding. There are doubtless many other influences 
in the racial composition of the Greeks themselves and in 
their contact with other races which have tended to mold 
their character. Yet it cannot be doubted that the topog- 
raphy of the country has had a profound influence in 
shaping the moral and intellectual features of the people. 
The same barriers which prevented or impeded conmiercial 
and industrial development, also forbade social communi- 
cation and interrelation between the different groups of 
the population. Those rugged mountain chains and 
stretches of stormy sea made impossible any free and con- 
tinuous play of social forces and interchange of social 
ideals. Just as there could be no gradual and impercep- 
tible mingling of the blood of the various groups, so 
there could be no common participation in friendly inter- 
course. Consequently, instead of an amalgamated Greek 
race spread over the various parts of the kingdom, there 
was a congeries of small kin-groups, having each its inde- 
pendent existence, meeting oftener for war than for other 
more peaceful intercourse. This of necessity fostered 
differences, jealousies, and misunderstandings. What 
other forces tending in the same direction there may have 
been in the misty ancestry of the race, it is impossible to 
say. But however caused, today, as well as in ancient 
times, one of the most pronounced features of the Greek 
character is a factiousness, a sectionalism, a clannishness, 
an inability to take the point of view of one's neighbor, 
which has extended beyond the tribal limits to the domain 
of personal relations and individual character, making it 
very difficult for Greeks to unite in any common enter- 

The traveler whose boyhood study of ancient Greek 



history has impressed him with the importance of the 
frequent wars between Lacedemonians, Spartans, Arca- 
dians, et al., is astonished to learn by personal visitation 
how limited is the actual territory of the several diminutive 
^ndngdoms" with the names of which he is so familiar. 
When one reflects that the whole lot of them are included 
in a territory of about the same area as the state of West 
Virginia, he realizes that no one of them can be very large. 
The tribal wars are a thing of the past ; roads, railroads, 
and steamboats are beginning to make communication 
between different parts of the kingdom much easier, but 
the old factionalism remains a prominent feature of the 
Greek character, and has an intimate bearing on the 
subject of the present investigation. The foregoing 
facts, not at all unfamiliar as they are, and thus so briefly 
stated, are yet of fundamental importance to a thorough 
understanding of Greek emigration, and serve as a basis 
for the present study. Various illustrations and applica- 
tions will develop from time to time. 



National. Character 

T N trying to form an estimate of modem Greek life and 
■*■ character from the writings of recent travelers one is 
very quickly impressed with the discouraging lack of 
unanimity in the opinions expressed by different observers 
of apparently equal trustworthiness. It would be hard to 
find a subject on which such absolutely contradictory 
opinions are expressed with a greater degree of positive- 
ness than that of the modern Greeks. Following are a 
few typical sentences: 

"When it is of importance to know the exact truth the 
Greek can be trusted quite as much as the average Ameri- 
can.*' The Greek priest is "poor always, superstitious 
usually, ignorant often, he is without exception sincere.'** 

"Taken as a whole the Greeks are a moral and orderly 

"Cowards, bearers of false witness and liars are common 
national types." "The Greek race is unworthy of the 
sympathy of honest and brave men."j: 

"There may be great piety in Greek homes but the 
visitor sees none of it."§ 

"From all that I have been able to learn, I cannot have 
the least hesitation in asserting that family life, the comer 
stone of social morality, has maintained itself in a much 

*The Modern Greek, W. A. Elliott, Chautauquan, 43:144. 

fLife and Travel in Modem Greece, T. D. Seymour, Scribn9f'$, 

t Greece and Its People, 8<Uurday Review, 84:456. 

§ Monasteries and Religion in Greece, J. P. Mahaffy, Chautauquan, 



purer state in Greece than in the other countries of 
southern Europe."* 

Lord Byron himself said» *^The Greeks are perhaps the 
most depraved and degraded people under the sun, uniting 
to their original vices both those of their oppressors and 
those inherent in slaves, "t 

**No motive appeals more strongly to the modern Greek 
than the desire to be worthy of those he believes to be his 

ancestors All the traditions of a glorious past are 

moulded into the fabric of his little state The new 

life and its language, as well as the new state, is a reem- 
bodiment of the old."t 

**Now to the modem Greek himself this feeling (of senti- 
mentally linking the new Greece with the old) is utterly 

unnatural, and indeed hardly intelligible The 

Hellenic past beyond that (the historical Greek church) 
is infinitely more remote and unreal to him than it is to 

ourselves The whole play is largely a farce in his 

eyes. The enthusiastic Philhellene is a benevolent mad- 
man to him, but a madman whom it is worth while to 

As the former of these last two quotations was written 
in 1897 and the latter in 1885 we perhaps ought to make 
allowance for a slight change in the attitude of the Greek 
on this matter, due to twelve years of tutelage under the 
benevolently mad Philhellene. 

* Character, Condition and Prospects of the Greek People, Western 
Reviwf, 69:345. 

t Quoted in The Spoilt Child of Europe, R. W. Hanbury, Nine- 
teenth Century, 6:998. 

^The Modem Greeic as a Fighting Man, BenJ. Ide Wheeler, North 
American Review, 164: 609. 

§ Ancient and Modem Greek, W. C. Lawton, Atlantic, 56:399. 



Thu variety of opinions is undoubtedly due in part to 
this same ardent Philhellenism which inspires so many 
travelers to classic lands. In the mind of the typical pil- 
grim, especially of a generation or two ago» anything 
Greek was shrouded in a romantic mist of glory. The 
words, actions and avocations of the modem peasant were 
regarded through the rainbow glasses of a glorious tradi- 
tion, and the eiFusions of the ever present guide ranked 
for historical accuracy with the writings of Herodotus. 
Set side by side with a description written from this point 
of view, an unbiased statement of the cold, bare facts must 
of necessity seem sadly inharmonious. 

But there is a more fundamental reason than this for 
the discrepancy. The very diversity of life and interest 
which has been noted above, has produced a diversity of 
character. As are the Greeks of one region, so are they 
,not of another. It is almost impossible to make any 
general statements in regard to the Greek character 
against which a host of exceptions will not rise in protest. 
And this is true, not only of the race as a whole, but of 
individuals. One finds the strangest mixture of contra- 
dictory qualities manifesting themselves under diflPerent 
circumstances in the same person. At one moment one 
feels his heart swelling with admiration for the modem 
Greek as one of the finest types in the world. The next, 
seeing him from a diflPerent angle, he feels that he is abso- 
lutely despicable. Accordingly, in the ensuing considera- 
tion of modem Greek character, it must be borne in mind 
that the eflPort is made to picture the people as a whole. 
Anyone familiar with a number of Greeks will be able to 
find individuals whose lives and character will gainsay 
almost every statement that shall be made. 



This diversity of character has undoubtedly been aug- 
mented by the checkered career of the Greek race in the 
last twenty centuries and the various admixtures of foreign 
blood to which the racial stock has been submitted. This 
brings us to a matter about which there has been endless 
discussion of a more or less passionate nature — the ques- 
tion of the physical descent of the modem from the 
ancient Greeks. To a clear understanding of this subject 
a brief survey of the history of the race from the time of 
the Roman conquest is essential. 

A hundred years before the beginning of the Christian 
era, under Roman domination, the population of Greece, 
already largely composed of slaves, was undergoing a 
further degradation. Alien invaders came Ih and the old 
stock was dispersed. This process continued until about 
the middle of the third century A. D., when the invasions 
of the Groths marked the beginning of a long series of 
inundations from the north. The Groths were followed by 
the Vandals, the Avars, and the Slavs, and finally by the 
great flood of Albanians, whose influence on the racial 
stock was the most lasting of any. For centuries Greece 
was the shuttlecock of foreign conquerors. The Romans 
and the barbarians were followed by the French and the 
Venetians. Finally, about 1460, the Turks got complete 
possession of the land, and then began three and a half 
centuries of oppression more grinding and terrible than 
anything that had gone before. Every imaginable indig- 
nity was heaped upon the miserable denizens of the once 
glorious land. The crowning insult was the child tax, 
by which one fifth of all the male Christian children in 
Greece were taken away to Constantinople, to become 
servants, clerks and janissaries for the Turk. The 



strongest^ healthiest and most intelligent children were 
always chosen, and the tax was so oppressive that it 
caused many to become Mohammedans, while others 
reached a pitch of degradation where they welcomed the 
tax as a means of saving their children from starvation. 
During all this period the Greeks in Egypt, Asia Minor 
and Syria were suffering like misfortunes under the Arabs 
and the various successive masters of these lands. 

At last, in the beginning of the nineteenth century, the 
spirit of independence awoke, and in 1821 began the long 
struggle which seven years later culminated in the freedom 
of Greece from the Turkish yoke. The task of recon- 
struction was a difficult one. Athens was in ruins, scarcely 
any of the houses even having roofs. A new state had to 
be created from nothing but ashes. As there was no royal 
family in existence, a ruler had to be chosen. Capo 
d' Istria was first made president, but he proved unequal 
to the position and was assassinated in 18S1. Next a 
Bavarian boy of seventeen was called to become king, and 
ruled as King Otho until 1862, when he too was deposed. 
Then George of Denmark, a brother of the dowager 
queen, Alexandra of England, was called to the throne, 
and has managed to hold his position up to the present 
time. His cool, even nature proved a valuable counter- 
poise to the excitability of his subjects. But his task was 
a difficult one, and progress was so slow that in 1888 the 
historian Cox wrote:* 

1'^That man must be sanguine indeed who can bring 
himself to think that during the years that have passed 
, (since the deposition of Otho) the evils which affect Greek 
' society have been attacked at their roots The old 

* Cox, General History of Greece, p. 670. 



faults of the Greek character still produce their evil fruit 
of personal corruption, of reckless place-hunting, of 
selfishness, faction, jealousy and slander. The memory 
of a great past still leads to talking rather than action; 
and the close of half a century of independence leaves the 
Greeks much where they were when the first years of 
freedom seemed to give promise of better things." 

The very considerable progress, both intellectual and 
material, which has been made since that time reflects a 
great deal of credit upon both sovereign and subjects. 

With these facts in view there have yet been plenty of 
writers to take both sides of the race controversy. Out 
of the voluminous literature on the subject the following 
opinions may be quoted: 

''I am unable, for one, to accept the theory that the 
modem Greeks are in any real sense either the true repre- 
sentatives of the ancient Greek race or the repository of 
its traditions.'** 

'^Living in the midst of the same surroundings, with 
the same climate, the same needs, and the same occupa- 
tions, the Greeks have retained many of the peculiarities 
of their ancestors. The foreign blood which runs in their 
veins has been thoroughly a8similated."t 

Perhaps the strongest advocate of the unity of the 
modem with the ancient race is an Italian, Dr. G. Nico- 
lucci, whose work is reviewed by J. B. D. in the Anthropo- 
logical Review (6:154). He concludes that in physical 
and moral characteristics the Greeks of today are not 

'The Tbessaliftn War of 1807, Charles Williams, Fortfdghtly 
R§vUw, 67:059. 

fLife and Travel in Modem Greece^ T. D. Seymour, 8cHhn$v^9, 



degraded from the happiest days of the ancients. ^^An- 
thropology .... proclaims the Greeks of today legitimate 
descendants of that people who filled the world with its 
name and glory." 

But the bulk of authority, including such names as 
Cox, Professor Fallmerayer, A. L. Koeppen, Dr. Hyde 
Clark, Benjamin Ide Wheeler and W. A. Elliott, is on 
the other side. Professor Fallmerayer went so far as to 
claim that the Hellenic blood was completely annihilated. 
Perhaps the most trustworthy summary is that given by 
Prof. William Z. Ripley in his Races of Europe, Chapter 

*^The modem Greeks are a very mixed people. There 
can be no doubt of this from a review of their history. 
In despite of this, they still remain distinctly true to 
their original Mediterranean ancestry. This has been 
most convincingly proved in respect of their head form. 
.... There can be no doubt that in Asia Minor, at least, 
the word Greek is devoid of any racial significance. It 
merely denotes a man who speaks Greek, or else one who 
is a Greek Catholic, converted from Mohammedanism." 

The unbiased traveler in modem Greece can hardly 
fail to be converted to the belief in a serious admixture. 
Albanian settlements are frequent in many districts of 
Greece. Eleusis, the home of the ancient Mysteries, is 
now an Albanian town. Within two hours' walk of Athens, 
I strolled into the little village of Kamatero. I entered 
the coiFee-house and sat down for a little conversation 
with the host. Noticing that he spoke in a strange 
tongue to his wife, I asked him what it was. He replied : 
*' Albanian. But not true Albanian. We in the village 
here are all %alf-tongues.' " In Messenia there is a large 




Albanian population. When the railroad was put 
through between Zevgalatio and Kalonero, there was a 
discussion between a Greek village and an Albanian one 
as to the name of a station which lay midway between the 
two, with the result that the present station building bears 
on one end the name '^^tos/' and on the other ^^Soulima." 
It is almost inconceivable in the face of such evidence, and 
in remembrance of the frequent invasions to which Greece 
was subjected for so many centuries, that there should not 
have been a very profound admixture of foreign blood. 
While most modem Greeks dengr this vehemently, it is 
nevertheless no uncommon thing to find a Greek who admits 
that the race is a badly mixed lot, though he usually 
excepts his own locality. 

It is certainly hard to find any great number of modem 
Greeks who in physical characteristics suggest the classic 
type. There are a number of fairly distinct types to be 
^bserved today. One of the commonest is of a fleshy habit, 
with rather broad and heavy features, and a nose large 
and almost bulbous. As regards anthropology, the 
modem Greek is more broad headed than the ancient, 
whom both Nicolucci and Ripley agree to have been 
dolichocephalic, with an index of about 76.7. According 
to the latter, *^The cephalic index of modem living Greeks 
ranges with great constancy about 81." Dolichocephaly 
is especially prevalent in Thessaly and Attica, while 
brachycephaly is more abundant to the north, particularly 
in Epirus. About Corinth, where there is Albanian mix- 
ture, the index rises above 8S. On the whole the Pelo- 
ponnesus is said to have best preserved the early dolicho- 
cephaly. Modem Greeks are decidedly brunet, perhaps 
more so than the ancients, though we can not go as far 



as one author who has attempted to prove that the ancient 
Greeks were blonds on the basis of the fact that the gods 
were usually represented as of fair complexion. He 
argues that the gods would undoubtedly represent the 
type of the race and that therefore the majority of the 
population must have been blond. The absurdity of such 
a course of reasoning appears when we remember that the 
modem Greek has a profound admiration for blondness, 
because it is so rare^ and it is very probable that the 
ancients represented their gods in this way for the same 

In regard to the pigmentation of the eyes, the brunet 
type of the modern Greek is frequently varied with blue 
or gray. In stature the modem Greek is intermediate 
between the Turks, and the Albanians and Dalmatians, 
about 1.65 meters or 5 feet and 5 inches. The character- 
istic face is orthognathous, oval, rather narrow and high, 
though as observed above, in regard to features there 
great variation. 

But whatever may be said in regard to the physical 
descent, there can be no doubt that spiritually the 
modem Greeks are the direct inheritors of the ancients. 
A familiarity with the modem people brings countless 
illustrations of the similarity of thought and character 
between the old and the new, and clarifies many a dim 
passage in ancient history. This spiritual identity has 
been taken by some writers as a proof of physical unity. 
It should rather serve as an illustration of the permanency 
of custom, language, and habit of thought, which enables 
national character to survive, while the physical basis on 
which it rests is slowly but profoundly changing. The 
modem Greek is still a wanderer, adventurous, devoted 



to a sea-faring life. He has **that peculiar mingling of 
caution and daring supplemented with resourcefulness and 
enterprise, that make the ideal sailor."* He is still very 
inquisitive, a great talker, as eager as ever to ^Hell or to 
hear some new thing." He will make a long story, illus- 
trated with emphatic gestures, out of the very simplest 
occurrence, and two Greeks are never at a loss for some- 
thing to talk about. Greece, particularly Athens, is 
flooded with newspapers. It is said that Athens publishes 
more daily newspapers than New York. They contain 
a good deal of news, but they also contain a considerable 
amount of scurrilous abuse of each other and of various 
public personages, which is highly pleasing to the Greek 

The Greeks share many characteristics with other south 
European races. They are passionate, quick-tempered 
and excitable, though their impetuosity does not so often 
lead to serious crimes as in the case of the Italians. They 
are voluble and very fond of noise. To see a crowd of 
men gathered round a card table one would think that 
they were on the very point of a bloody hand-to-hand 
encounter. The cards are slammed down on the table 
with the greatest violence, fists are shaken in faces, and 
such epithets as "thief," "liar," and "scoundrel" circulate 
freely. But in point of fact the players are on just as 
friendly terms as a couple of northerners calmly discussing 
the prospect of rain the next day. This fondness of the 
Greek for noise is of course greatest if he makes it himself. 
It may be mere vociferation. It takes more shouting for 
a couple of boatmen to bring their bark to the gangway 
of a steamer than an Anglo-Saxon would require to 

* The Modern Greek, W. A. Elliott, Chautauquan, 4St 144. 



manoeuver a fleet, while on an occasion like the arrival of 
a big steamer in the Piraeus, when there are fifty boats 
fi^i^ggliiig for the patronage, the eiFect is like a very 
Babel let loose. But it may also be music. The Greeks 
are beyond doubt a very musical people. The cabman 
on his box, the bootblack at his stand, the clerk behind the 
counter, and the shepherd on the hillside are alike liable at 
any moment to burst forth into song. The visitor to the 
prison on the hill back of Patras is pathetically impressed 
with this fact as he sees a group of prisoners seated around 
a table, singing away the afternoon to the accompaniment 
of a guitar. 

The real native music is of a strictly Oriental type, 
weird, minor melodies, pitched in a high key and sung in 
a nasal voice, with various grunts and groans, all quite 
meaningless and often ludicrous to a western ear. Here, 
too, volume is an essential. One of the printed rules in 
one of the hotels in Tripolis is, ^'Guests are not allowed 
to sing in their rooms." But when trained in Occidental 
music the Greeks produce very fine eiFects, both vocally 
and instrumentally. The military bands that one hears so 
frequently in Athens are well worth listening to. The 
native songs are almost all passionate love songs, quite 
out of accord with the national marriage customs. To 
hear some dark-haired dandy, **his eyes in a fine frenzy 
rolling," sing in an impassioned voice. 

By fate men wander far, some east^ some west. 
The eyes see other places, new and strange; 
In some new tree the doves rebuild their nest; 
The heart alone of all things knows no change,* 

Freely translated from a popular song. 



one would never suspect that at that very minute the 
singer might be carrying on negotiations with two or 
three diiFerent fathers to see which would pay him the 
highest price to take his daughter off his hands. 

The Greeks are also very fond of dancing. The folk 
dances are generally performed by men individually, 
though sometimes two or even more will unite, and occa- 
sionaUy a man will lead one or more women through the 
dance, the man and the woman next him holding the oppo- 
site ends ol a^ handkerchief. . The movements differ in 
various localities, but in general consist of a series of 
attitudes, poses and slow gyrations, accompanied at times 
with snapping the fingers or shouts. In the cities the 
society circles have taken up mixed dances, waltzes, two- 
steps, etc., which under the existing social conditions is 
a change not wholly desirable or beneficial. 

The Greeks are by nature courteous, polite and hos- 
pitable. Strangers are regarded with frank curiosity 
and are subjected to all sorts of personal inquiries, in 
regard to age, business, destination, marital condition and 
a host of other topics. But they are welcomed, and kindly 
treated. A Greek will gladly give up a whole day to the 
entertainment of a stranger in whom he is interested. 
The Greek language contains many graceful salutations 
and greetings. One of them, **o»pumrc," corresponding to 
the Turkish, ^^bouyurenes," would add much to the English 
language if it, or something of the same significance, 
could be adopted. It has a wide variety of meanings, 
such as **welcome," **help yourself," "sit down,*' "glad to 
see you," ^^g your pardon," etc., but in general it means 
that you are to make yourself at home and have anything 
that you want. Unfortunately, in regions especially sub- 



ject to tourist yisitation, this natural hospitality has been 
brought into conflict with the equaUy natural commercial 
spirit, and has lost much of its charm. But outside of 
those classes whose business is serving travelers, a Greek 
who has rendered some slight service will, with refreshing 
frequency, refuse a tip. 

The commercial spirit and shrewd business ability are 
very characteristic of the modem Greeks. As already 
remarked, they are the business men of the Levant. They 
are successful traders wherever they go, particularly if 
they are dealing with people of somewhat less alert minds. 
Unhappily this love of trade frequently develops into a 
decidedly mercenary spirit. If the love of money is a 
root of all evil we have not far to seek for the cause of 
many of the vices which alFect the Greek nation. A five 
minutes' conversation between two Greeks is almost certain 
to touch, first or last, upon money matters. Unfortu- 
nately also, this commercial spirit is all too frequently 
coupled with commercial dishonesty. Illustrations of this 
will come up later. It has probably done more than any 
other one thing to counteract the natural energy, enter- 
prise and ability of the nation, and impede the industrial 
progress of Greece. 

In general, dishonesty is one of the most serious faults 
of the race. It expresses itself in lying, and in business 
and political untrustworthiness, not so often in actual 
theft. Commercial travelers complain of the readiness 
with which Greek business men will break a contract, if 
better terms are subsequently offered from another source. 
The universality of the habit of lying is something which 
impresses almost every traveler, and one is at first almost 
inclined to think that the Greek will lie in preference to 



telling the truth, even when there is no question of advan- 
tage. But this is an injustice. The fact is, not so much 
that the Greek is a liar, as that he is not a truth teller. 
The American youth is trained from infancy to the belief 
that whatever happens the truth must be told. The Greek 
feels that if any important matter is at stake. Such as 
his own personal gain, or the good name of the race, truth 
is subsidiary, and must be sacrificed to greater ends. 
But the result is that it is far from safe to put too much 
confidence in the statements or promises of the average 
Greek, where there is the slightest chance of any persona] 
interest being at stake. 

So in business dealings the principle of caveat emptor 
certainly prevails. A shopkeeper will leave half his stock 
exposed and unguarded without the slightest fear, and 
a peddler has no hesitation in letting his donkey get out 
of sight two or three comers ahead of him. He knows 
that his goods wiU not be molested. But when it comes 
to actual trade, then it is a contest of wits, without any 
compunction if a serious advantage is taken of ignorance 
or lack of ability. 

This practice of haggling over a bargain, which it must 
be said seems to be on the decline, is partly due to a love 
of play, a sort of childishness, which is a prominent feature 
of the Greek character. Trade is regarded as a form of 
sport and you win the admiration rather than the ill will 
of your opponent if you get the better of him. This fond- 
ness of the Greek for making a game of everything has 
been well described by Benj. Ide Wheeler.* He is writing 
especially in regard to the prospects of the Greek nation 

*The Modem Greek as a Fighting Man, Benj. Ide Wheeler, North 
American Review, 164:609. 



in the approaching war with Turkey ( 1897) . He remarks 
that war was always a form of sport among the Greeks, 
and a battle was a sort of game. He predicted that as 
long as the war bore the character of a hunt with a large 
element of chance, adventure, excitement and individual 
achievement the Greeks would prove themselves good 
soldiers. But as soon as it settled down to long hard 
campaigns, dull delays, and systematic movements en 
masse^ the results would not be so favorable, for the Greek 
hates plodding, and does not submit readily to discipline 
or authority. ^*As long as war presents some reasonable 
element of sport, a chance of winning, a fair opportunity 
for exercise of the wits, features of surprise and shifting 
interest, the Greek will stay by and be an admirable 
soldier, but any application of the one-price system — the 
mechanical routine of drill, the monotonous life of the 
camp, the mechanism of march and retreat — will set his 
war fervor sorely to the test.*' 

The Greek's love of authority manifests itself on 
frequent occasions, and is one of the principal obstacles 
in the way of united effort in any direction of national 
interest. The Greek hates to submit to the control or 
direction of any one, especially one of his own race. But 
clothe him with a little authority and he feels fairly in his 
element. In his fondness for uniform caps he almost equals 
the Grerman. Even the street car conductor or the watch- 
man at a grade crossing feels a tremendous sense of his 
own importance and asserts it with a great deal of flourish. 
This probably accounts in part for the reckless way in 
which carriage drivers urge their horses through the most 
crowded streets of the cities without the slightest apparent 
consideration for pedestrians. Being in possession of a 



certain sort of superiority, they see no reason why they 
should not make the most of it. There is also no consider- 
ation for the feelings of the horse, for the Greek is very 
harsh in his treatment of animals. One who knows them 
well says that it is perfectly safe to say that they are the 
most cruel people to animals in the world. This is, how- 
ever, probably something of an exaggeration, for one does 
not see the open and universal abuse of animals on the 
street which is so familiar and so depressing in Naples, 
for instance. Nevertheless, there is plenty of room for 
improvement among the Greeks. One day in the environs 
of Athens I saw a man entertaining himself and a couple 
of children in the following way. He had a crow, which 
for some reason had lost the power of flight, and was hold- 
ing it in the air for a dog to jump at. He would allow 
the dog just to get his teeth over some of the feathers and 
then would jerk the bird away. After doing this a few 
times, he would put the crow on the ground and let it 
hobble away, holding the dog in the meantime, until the 
crow was twenty or thirty feet away. Then he would 
loose the animal and allow it to catch the bird, rescuing 
the latter however before it was killed in order that the 
whole process might be repeated. All three seemed to be 
enjoying the sport immensely and manifested not the least 
sense of shame. When the bird finally expired under the 
treatment the only apparent regret was that the pastime 
was ended. 

The public dog catcher in Athens makes use of a pair 
of powerful steel pincers, perhaps twelve feet long, with 
which he seizes the dog across the ribs, fairly crushing 
them with the pressure. The poor victim is then dragged 
after him down the street, shrieking with agony, and 



nobody thinks anything of it. People have a sort of 
superstitious dislike of killing kittens, but will leave a new- 
bom litter of them out to starve in a cold comer without 
the least compunction. This absence of sympathy between 
man and the dumb animals has been cited by one shrewd 
observer as one of the great causes of the notorious weak- 
ness of the Greek cavalry. 

Probably the most pervasive and serious vice of 
the people is gambling. The element of chance has an 
immense attraction for the Greek, and is manifested in 
many ways. Lotteries flourish everywhere. A common 
advertisement in coffee-houses, groceries, etc., all over the 
kingdom is of a national lottery for the support of the 
fleet and the maintenance of the antiquities. On the 
occasion of religious festivals and other gatherings of 
the people, gambling games are much in evidence. They 
vary in type and in simplicity. One of the most obvious 
that I have seen consisted of an eight-sided top spun in 
a soup plate. The sides were numbered from one t^ eight 
and the player was invited to bet a ^^pendara'^^ on the 
number of the side which he picked as the one/on which 
the top would come to rest. If he won he received five 
^^pendaras." Anyone could see that the ^^dealer" stood 
eight chances of winning to the player's five, and appar- 
ently most of them did, for the game was not largely 
patronized. This passion for gambling infests every 
phase of Greek Uf e to such an extent as to lead travelers 
frequently to express themselves in some such terms as 
the following: 

^*It seems to be the irony of fate that a country with 
the traditions and associations of Greece should today be 
possessed and governed by a people whose one national 



instinct is gambling, and who while talking of the 
aspirations of Hellenism, occupy their time in political 

The Greek is much inclined to be indolent, egotistical, 
vain and superficial. While he displays great enterprise 
in business ventures, nevertheless his highest ambition is 
to acquire sufficient means so that he can spend the last 
years of his life sitting in idleness in the dubs and coiFee- 
houses, discussing politics and the thousand and one trivial 
things that a Greek can find to occupy his mind. This 
coffee-house habit is one of the greatest drawbacks to 
national progress. At all hours of the day these resorts 
are full of men, idling away their time drinking coffee, 
smoking, playing cards and talking. It is a harmless 
enough pastime in itself and has social features which 
would commend it if engaged in with moderation. But 
the amount of time that is absolutely frittered away in 
this fashion would accomplish great things for the nation 
if applied to some useful purpose. The Greek loves to 
keep up the appearance of prosperity and leisure. In 
Patras and Athens there is a numerous class of so-called 
^lack-coats," young men of uncertain occupation, who 
are much in evidence in the coffee-houses and public 
squares, appearing faultlessly attired and ostensibly 
enjoying an important and lucrative business, though 
in point of fact, as some one has remarked, *^they may 
not have two francs to jingle together in their pockets." 
It IS said on good authority that the business buildings 
which pay the highest rent are the coffee-houses, and the 
next are the barber-shops. 

* The Condiict and Present Condition of Greece^ Walter B. Harris, 
BUiekwoo^s, 109t988. 


Love of glory is a prominent feature of the national 
character. There is nothing that pleases the typical 
Greek more than to be the center of attraction — to be 
in the limelight. Mr. Wheeler says, **It was an old say- 
ing of the other Greeks that the Athenians rowed well 
when coming into the harbor/* and the same might be 
truly said of the whole nation today. A Greek proprietor 
of a pool hall in Omaha told me that he was planning to 
spend $200 or $800 in company with another young man 
in playing Achilles at the Ak-Sar-Ben festival in the fall 
of 1908. The following anecdote illustrates this point 
nicely, as well as several other phases of Greek character. 
In front of one of the steamship offices in Patras I was 
talking with one of the agents (a Greek) and a young 
man who was about to start for America. The boy had 
been in the United States before and I asked him if he 
knew English. He replied, *^Just a little," whereupon 
the agent laughed and remarked to the boy, *^You say 
that to him, but if / had asked you, you would have said, 
*0h, yes, I know the language perfectly.* " Then turning 
to me he continued: ^*You see, the Greek is a great lover 
of glory, and about things that do no harm, he lies 
valiantly. If there is anything at stake, he will tell the 
truth, but about his own accomplishments and achieve- 
ments he will exaggerate to an unlimited extent." There 
is no better way of expressing this element of character 
than to adopt the slang phrase, and say that the Greeks 
are a nation of '^grandstand players." 

This love of display is coupled with great confidence 
in one's own abilities and readiness to undertake any sort 
of a project. This is an important element in Greek 
character and is so well illustrated by the course of the 



War of 1897 that we are justified in giving a brief space 
to the history of that conflict. The boundary line between 
Greece and European Turkey has always been a tender 
subject, and frequent alterations in this arbitrary line by 
the European powers, toward the end of the nineteenth 
century, had irritated Greece to the point where only a 
slight incentive was needed to cause her to rise in protest. 
This was furnished by the action of Turkey in promul- 
gating massacres in Crete which aroused the keenest 
resentment on the part of the Greeks. By the middle of 
February, 1897, Crete was occupied by a Greek military 
force. Cretan refugees flocked to Athens and were joined 
by hosts of peasants, swarming in from the hills. The 
enthusiasm for war was intense. ^^Znjria o ir<$Xc/Ao«" was 
scribbled with chalk on walls all over the city. Mobs 
daily besieged the palace demanding that war be declared 
at once. In point of fact the country was absolutely in 
no condition to declare war. The army was poorly 
ofBcered, undrilled, inadequately equipped with arms and 
ammunition, and altogether very far from being an 
efficient war machine. But nobody paid any attention to 
this. Greece had been insulted and must be avenged. 
There was undoubtedly much of true patriotism in the 
outcry. But there was also much of bombast. Those 
who shouted the loudest for war were the ones who 
made the most strenuous efForts to avoid enlistment. But 
the clamor continued with increased vehemence, and the 
great throngs before the palace insisted that war be 
declared or that the king abdicate and the ministry resign. 
Meanwhile the secret societies, particularly the powerful 
Ethnike Hetairia, were busy and encouraged outbreaks 
on the frontier, which tended to force the king's hand. 



He finally felt the irresistibility of the pressure and 
yielded, and war was declared. 

Then followed a series of events which puzzled observers 
and made the contemporary magazine articles on the sub- 
ject very curious, contradictory, and somewhat amusing 
reading. There were a number of conflicts in the north 
of Greece. The Greek soldiers fell far short of the stand- 
ard which they had established for themselves in the war 
of independence. The battles were described as a series 
of panics, and the officers scathingly condemned for the 
way in which they deserted the soldiers after a defeat and 
left them to pursue their retreat as best they could. The 
Greek fleet was much superior to the Turkish, and nobody 
could understand why the Turkish military trains were 
allowed to pass unmolested along the Macedonian railway, 
within easy range of the coast, where a single Greek battle- 
ship might have completely annihilated both the trains 
and the railroad. On the whole, the Turks got the best 
of the conflicts. But when they apparently had the sit- 
uation in their hands they failed to press their advantage, 
and, seemingly by the influence of the powers, peace was 

In explanation of these puzzling events, the following 
statement was given me by a gentleman in Greece who is 
thoroughly intimate with all Greek afFairs, social and 
political, and whose authority is unquestionable. The 
Greek people were sincere in their rage against Turkey 
and in their zeal for war. When it became evident that 
the king would be forced either to declare war or to abdi- 
cate, the powers of Europe saw that if the work of the 
past thirty years was not to be wholly undone, some 
action must be taken at once. Accordingly, the British 



minister, the Greek miniBter, the Turkish minister and 
perhaps one or two others got together and planned out 
the whole war beforehand. The battles, attacks and 
retreats were all arranged in advance. The fighting was 
planned in such a way as to cause the least possible blood- 
shed on both sides, while giving the people a chance to 
exhaust some of their war fervor. The Greek fleet was 
allowed to bombard a small village near the coast but was 
not permitted to molest any of the Turkish trains. The 
Turkish government on its part agreed to withdraw its 
troops from Crete and cede Thessaly to Greece. 

It is an interesting story from a historical point of 
view, but its importance to us at present is in the side- 
light which it throws on the Greek character. It all 
turned out as was anticipated. The populace very soon 
lost its warlike enthusiasm. Those who had been the 
keenest for hostilities were the slowest to take up the 
burdens of the conflict. There is considerable justification 
for statements Uke the following, which occur frequently 
in the contemporary history of the war. 

**The national vice of windy enthusiasm for great ends, 
combined with unwillingness to perform the solid labors 
by which alone these can be secured, has at last brought 
despair into the hearts of the best Greeks at home and 

The people of Athens were accused of showing a callous 
indifference to the results of the war. 

**Frantic at first with the war fever, they have 
done but little either for the army, the wounded or the 
refugees.'' t 

* The Wredc of Greece, Henry Nornum. Serihntf^i, 99i S99. 
fThe Condiict and Present Condition of Greece, Walter B. Harris, 
BlaekwoodPi, 109:986. 


Many writers speak of the extremely democratic char- 
acter of the Greeks. This is perhaps tme in a political 
waj ; it is not in a social way- There is a well-developed 
sense of the distinctions between the social grades. Many 
times I have heard Greeks speak in a sneering way of the 
low-class Greeks who were the first to come to this country 
and of the bad impression which they have ^ven the nation 
in the minds of American people. 

The Greek is passionately fond of politics and ambitious 
for political position. Mr. J. Irving Manatt speaks as 
follows of politics in that country : 

"Instead of party government Greece groans under 
'boss' government." The spoils system flourishes. The 
government is a. whirligig. "The life of a Greek ministry 
averages a little more than ten months." * 

After knowing the Greeks for some time one is strongly 
tempted to say that one of the greatest curses of the 
modem nation is its inheritance from a glorious past. 
The Greek realizes well how he suffers in comparison with 
his predecessors, but seems to feel that past greatness 
atones and compensates for present failures. Greece 
fcets that Europe and civilization in general owe her a 
debt of gratitude and support in return for the contribu- 
titms made by the inhabitants of the country two thou- 
sand and more years ago. She has been styled, "the 
spoiled child of Europe." Every effort is made to estab- 
'•-'■ *^e close connection between the modem and the 
: nation, and the assumption is that if this can be 
any present shortcomings are of slight moment, 
wndous project has just been launched, that of 


compiling a ^^Historical Lexicon of the Greek language, 
from its earliest use to the present time," which is to con- 
tain every word ever pronounced by Greek mouths, and 
is expected to represent the *%istorical evolution of the 
Greek nation and its racial unity." This is perhaps a 
very commendable undertaking in itself, but if the energy 
and money which it will entail could be expended on a 
serious endeavor to conquer some of the problems of the 
modem nation, the final benefit would be vastly greater. 
In fact, one cannot help feeling that if the modem Greek 
could cut himself loose from all sense of a glorious an- 
cestry — ^including such wild dreams as the "grand idea" 
of possessing the whole Turkish Empire — and could bring 
himself to face the responsibility of the improvement of 
present conditions, and to take up the burden of citizen- 
ship with a spirit of serious independence, it would mean 
much for the progress of the country. 

Turning to some of the more pleasing aspects of Greek 
character, we note first of all a genuine patriotism, mani- 
festing itself in a variety of ways. It is perhaps mis- 
guided at times but it is almost always sincere. If some of 
the wealthy men who devote large sums of money to the 
erection of costly public buildings, expositions and stadia 
would turn their attention to some of the more practical 
and humble needs of the country, which perhaps have less 
of personal glory connected with them, it would be a great 
gain. Greece could well use large sums of money in the 
establishment and maintenance of agricultural and tech- 
nical schools, in the improvement of her roads, in the 
betterment of some of her harbors, or in the operation, 
perhaps for a time at a loss, of a large woolen mill. 
Nevertheless the spirit which animates the gifts which have 



Amfi io nmch to beaatify Atliens is truly admiraUe. 
During the year 1905, wealthy Greeks residiiig abroad 
(tpiitributed the following sums of money for the pnrpoaes 

flttvignated : * 

Myngrof Hospital for Venereal Diseases l,SOOflOO dfadi.t 
MsrsscUeios Normal School 900,000 dradi. 
Msrssehleios Commercial Academy 800,000 dradi. 
Aigeoeton Gjneooiogical and Nervous Dis- 
eases clinic 500,000 drach. 
Home for the Aged of Athens 1,500,000 drach. 

This feeling of patriotism is especially evident when the 
Greek is in a foreign land. Find him there and tell him 
that you have been in his country and his heart sweUs with 
a genuine emotion. ^^Did you go to Athens?^ is the 
almost invariable query. ^^Isn't it a beautiful city? And 
the palace there? ** The tie between the absent Greek and 
hU home fillage is always a very close one. 

Life in Greece is essentially an outdoor life. It does not 
take the form of athletics to nearly the same extent as in 
Kngland or America. The Greek youths have few out- 
door games, aside from marbles, kites and the like. But 
the Greek loves to sit out in the open air. In fine weather 
the public squares of the cities are closely dotted with 
tablet, belonging to the neighboring coffee-houses. One 
of the most charming features of Greek social life is the 
w^pifiiha or coffee-gardens, where one may sit and sip the 
fragrant beverage or munch a sweetmeat, surrounded by 
orange and lemon trees, with his ears filled with the sound 
of the clear water running in the irrigating ditches on 

* Rcportf oi Consul-General George W. Horton, Athens. 

t Drseb. or dr., the drachma, equlyalent to aboat 9^19 American. 



• ft 


• • •. 

• •• 

• •• 

• _ • 

r • 

• • •• 
•• • 




every hand. The Greek is very fond of sweetmeats and 
knows how to make them in a variety of delicious forms. 

Unless his temper is aroused the Greek is generally 
light-hearted, buoyant and good-natured. He has a fine 
sense of humor in spite of some extraordinary statements 
to the contrary made by travelers.* His humor is not 
always of the daintiest but it has a flavor of its own which 
is quite distinctive. The following anecdote serves as a 
very good iUustration. It must be borne in mind that 
every male Greek wears a mustache, and the first evidences 
of down on the Up (which comes quite early) are welcomed 
by the Greek boy as a sign of approaching manhood. A 
clean-shaven American traveler of about thirty was having 
his shoes shined by a clever little bootblack in Athens, in 
the meanwhile good-naturedly chaffing him and a grizzled 
laborer who stood near. The conversation turned to the 
subject of weather and the laborer asked, *^Do you have 
as cold weather as this in America? " **Ohy yes, much 
colder," replied the stranger. Whereupon the bootblack 
added, ^*In American it is so cold that it freezes your 
mustache, isn't it? and that is why you shave it ofF." 

One point on which practically all travelers agree is the 
marked temperance of the Greeks, and this is indeed one 
of their most commendable characteristics. Of course the 
drinking of light wines is a universal practice, and the 
use of beer is becoming more and more common. But 
these beverages are seldom taken in excess, and the 
stronger liquors are rarely used except in the artificial 
societies of the cities. Drunkenness occasionally occurs, 

*Mr. Mahaflfjr (Monasteries and Religion in Greece, Chantauqman, 
9:1) speaks of the curious solemnity and seriousness of the nation, 
'^ou will not hear a Joke in a generation in Greece." 



to be sure, but it is sporadic, not habitual. During a five- 
weeks' trip through the Greek mainland I recall seeing 
only two men who gave evidence of being intoxicated. 

Another matter upon which there is remarkable una- 
nimity among observers is the social purity of the Gi^ek 
people. It is to be feared, however, that there is some 
exaggeration about these statements. The matter of the 
sexual morality of a race is naturally one of the most 
difficult things to determine. Statistical proof of any 
proposition is almost impossible to obtain. The inves- 
tigator is forced to rely on the personal opinions of those 
who are intimately familiar with the people in question, 
supplemented by such observations as he may be able to 
carry out. The following sketch of the moral conditions 
of the Greek people is based on such grounds. Certain 
informants to whose opinions especial weight has been 
given are Protestant Greeks, whose separation from the 
orthodox religion enables them to look upon their race 
i^-ith a degree of impartiality, and yet whose patriotism 
will prevent them from being unjust to their countrymen, 
and whose character makes their statements worthy of 
every confidence. 

In the interior and rural districts it is undoubtedly true 
that the moral status is far from bad. Greek women are 
guarded very carefully by the male members of their 
families, and if a girl is wronged, her father, brother, or 
other male relative immediately takes up the issue, and it 
is an understood thing that the betrayer shall either be 
compelled to marry the girl, or be killed. Consequently 
there is no great amount of actual immorality between 
the sexes, though of course intrigues are not unknown. 
On the other hand the mental attitude of the men toward 



these matters is not always elevated, and their passions 
find frequent expression in such vices as sodomy. 

When we turn to the large cities, however, we find a 
much less encouraging state of affairs. In Athens and 
Patras the conditions are said to be exceedingly deplor- 
able. This state of affairs, especiaUy in Athens, is largely 
attributed to French influence, and in both of the above- 
named cities the women of questionable character are 
almost whoUy foreigners. In many ways the moral tone 
of fashionable society in these cities is very low. 

If we turn to Turkey we find the conditions even worse. 
There is the same distinction in favor of the interior and 
rural districts. But in Smyrna conditions among the 
Greeks could hardly be worse. The actual details are too 
revolting for discussion, but an idea of the matter may be 
gained from the fact that a well-known, able and success- 
ful Scotch doctor felt compeUed to leave the city because, 
apart from the mission circles, he could not find a decent 
social atmosphere in which to bring up his family of chil- 
dren. Another indication is furnished by the practically 
universal belief among the young men of the city that no 
boy can Uve to grow up to manhood without engaging in 
sexual indulgence. 

The greatest curse of Greek family life is the wretched 
dowry system which is saddled on the country, and saps all 
the romance out of the marital relation. No young man 
ever thinks of marrying a girl who is not provided with a 
satisfactory dowry, and the marriage contract amounts 
practically to the purchase of the bridegroom. The 
principal incentive for the industry of the men of the 
country is to secure enough money to make good matches 
for their daughters and sisters. In this respect the young 



men show a reaUy admirable deyotion to their sisters. It 
is quite an exceptional thing for a Greek to think of enter- 
ing the wedded state himself until all his sisters are mar- 
ried. The following illustration will show how ilioroug^y 
this idea is ingrained in the Greek thought. 

I called one day on an officer of the Greek army, living 
in Athens, to whom I had a letter. He was away on duty, 
but I was received by two women of his family. In the 
course of the conversation, with characteristic curiosity, 
they asked concerning my family. Being informed that 
I had no sisters they remarked, ^'Ah! It's better so." 
**Why is that?" I inquired. "Then you don't have to 
gather together money to marry them off." 

In a marriage contracted in this way there will nat- 
urally be little of mutual affection and regard, at least to 
start with. In the way of comradeship and true com- 
munion the Greek bridegroom expects little and so is not 
disappointed. The wife looks after the household and 
bears the children, usually a goodly number, and is not 
expected to enter particularly into the varied interests 
of her husband. This explains the readiness with which 
a Greek mil leave his wife and start out for a residence 
of five or ten years in America. There is very little social 
companionship among the young people of different sexes. 

Greece has a well-developed educational system. There 
are four grades of schools: the common, four years 
(sometimes six years, in which case the graduate is excused 
from the first two years of the following grade) ; Hellenic 
schools, three years; gymnasia, four years; university, 
four years. Upon the completion of the university course 
the student is a candidate for the doctor's degree. Educa- 
tion is free and compulsory in the common schools. In 



the following grades the yearly tuition is respectively, 
ten drachmas, twenty drachmas and one hundred and 
fifty drachmas. By law, parents are held responsible 
for the attendance of their boys and girls at the conmion 
schools, subject to a fine, but as my informant, the libra- 
rian of the Council, remarked, *^The law is not always 
appUed." Women have now begun to enter the univer- 
sity. These schools are all supported at public expense, 
the common schools by the municipalities, the others by 
the royal government. Every village is supposed to have 
at least its common school, and the Greeks are on the whole 
a well-educated people. In fact, in some respects they 
are sadly over-educated. There are more doctors and 
lawyers than the diminutive country knows what to do with. 



Helioion and Language 

THROUGHOUT the whole checkered history of the 
Greek race from the beginiuDg of the Christian era 
to the War of Independence there have been two great 
unifying factors, without which the nation would probably 
have been dispersed and absorbed long ago. These are 
the n ationa l religion and the natio nal la nguage. 

The Greek church has a more authentic and unbroken 

history than the Roman Catholic church. It was well 

estabhshed in the Levant at the time of the Council of 

Nice, and the Roman church had used the Greek language 

and been subservient to the Greek church. After the 

death of Constantine, the city which he had founded 

became the recognized head of the Christian church, and 

in the reign of Justinian, magnificent and costly churches 

were erected all over Constantinople. The chief of these 

was St. Sophia, dedicated Christmas day, 538. For the 

next six centuries Constantinople successfully resisted the 

attacks of the Mohammedan Saracens. During this 

period the separation of the eastern and western churches 

took place. The Roman popes laid claim to a direct apos- 

from St. Peter. The power of Rome grew 

iction of the leading eastern churches by 

It altered the Nicene creed, and forbade 

larry. "Its abject worship of images and 

^orance, its dependence on the western 

pretension to a place above all the other 

n honor and power, naturally excited the 


disapprobation and fear of its eastern brethren; and at 
length Antioch and Alexandria, Jerusalem and Constanti- 
nople, united in displacing forever from his place in the 
Christian church the heretical and ambitious Bishop of 
Rome."* The final separation took place in 1064. 

During the succeeding years when the territory of the 
eastern church was devastated by the Turks, the power 
of Rome increased still more. In fact, it is doubtful if 
the eastern branch of the church would have survived that 
dark period if that form of Christianity had not been 
adopted by Russia, whose career as a Christian nation 
dates from the year 1000. Her rulers were converted by 
pageantry and diplomacy as much as by convincing argu- 
ments. She copied closely the Greek ritual and church 
buildings. In 1587 Moscow took the place of Rome in 
the eyes of the eastern church as the fifth patriarchate. 
In the long and bloody conflict with the Romish Jesuits 
the Russian church finally prevailed, and preserved a form 
of religion which the Greek nation recognized and claimed 
as its own when its independence was established. 

The Greek church is the only one which has consistently 
followed the decrees of the Council of Nice. The worship 
of the Virgin Mary is not predominant, an4 its clergy are 
married, though its monks are not. In doctrine the Greek 
church differs somewhat from the Roman.' It accepts the 
Holy Trinity, but the Holy Spirit is assumed to proceed 
from the Father only. The doctrine of redemption is 
Scriptural. There must be works with faith. There are 
no indulgences, and no purgatory, but an ^^intermediate 
state of the departed" in which they remain until the 

*The Greek Qinrch, Eugene Lawrence, Harper^i Monthhf, 45:406, 
from which much of this historical review is taken. 



resurrection. Its ritual approaches that of Rome. The 
sacraments are Marriage, Confirmation, Extreme Unc- 
tion, Ordination, Penance, Baptism and the Lord's 
Supper. Infants are baptized on the eighth day by trine 
immersion. It holds to transubstantiation, but the host 
does not receive the same adoration as in the Roman 
church. Penance, auricular confession and absolution 
are regarded as very fundamental. The priest must know 
what he is absolving. 

The ritual is even more laborious than the Roman. 
There are many fasts, the principal ones being Lent, from 
Whitsuntide to St. Peter's day, from the 6th to the 
15th of August, and forty days before Christmas. The 
monasteries have others. The regulations concerning 
these fasts are rather complicated. In the main they 
involve the giving up of meat, and of fish except on certain 
days. No olive oil is to be used in cooking. These fasts 
are observed with a good deal of strictness and work con- 
siderable hardship on the people of moderate means. But 
the well-to-do have many means of avoiding any dis- 
comfort. Instead of olive oil, sesame oil is used in cook- 
ing, and caviar, shell-fish, etc., take the place of meat. In 
fact, in many cases, the fast food is more tasteful and 
pleasing than the regular diet. If a Greek is questioned 
in regard to the importance of fasting, he is likely to say, 
"Oh, it is very healthy to clean out your system by leaving 
off meat once in a while," and however faulty the argument 
may be from a theological point of view, there is a good 
deal of truth in it, for the wealthy Greeks eat altogether 
too much meat regularly. 

One of the chief points of difference between the eastern 
and the western churches was in the matter of images. 



The Greek branch maintained that the worship of statues 
or images was idolatry. But they substituted pictures 
for the images, and pictures (eikons) still hold a very 
important place in the worship of the Greek church. 
These are representations of various saints, and the 
common justification for their use is that the contempla- 
tion of them calls up the worthy lives of those whom they 
represent, and leads to emulation of their good qualities. 
The pictures are often executed in silver, in high relief, 
but the faces and often the hands are made flat, which 
keeps them from being images. 

Church buildings are exceedingly numerous in Greece. 
They are of all sizes and are scattered in all sorts of 
places, from the largest cities to some out-of-the-way nook 
of country, where there is perhaps no other building in 
sight. The modern Orthodox Greek church building is 
usually patterned on the Byzantine type of architecture. 
The interior decoration differs in elaborateness with the 
importance of the church and the wealth of the congrega- 
tion, but an important feature is always the pictures. 
Regular services are held on Sundays and holidays, but 
the churches are usually kept open on week days for the 
devotions of individuals. The regular service consists 
largely in the reading of the Scriptures, while the wor- 
shipers come in and remain as long as they feel moved to, 
passing around the church, kissing, the pictures and 
making the sign of the cross. The services are read in 
the ancient language and in an indistinct, singsong tone, 
so that the people get absolutely no meaning out of the 
reading. The priests discourage and prevent, as far as 
possible, the circulation and reading of the Scriptures, and 
as a residt the great mass of the common people are 



extremely ignorant as to the real truths and teachings of 
the Christian doctrine. 

Nevertheless, to the form of his religion the Greek is 
decidedly loyal. A Greek is bom to his religion just as 
he is to his nationality. It would be hard to find one who 
would not profess to be a Christian. Church services are 
quite well attended and when a Greek passes an isolated 
chapel he very often enters and remains a moment, paying 
his respects to the pictures contained therein. The sign 
of the cross is habitually made before eating and on pass- 
ing a church or chapel. The houses of devout Greeks 
each contain a sacred picture with an olive oil lamp always 
burning in front of it. The Greek insists positively on 
the truth of his form of faith, and will defend stoutly 
dogmas which he does not in the least comprehend. Un- 
fortunately, as would be expected under such conditions, 
there is very slight connection between religion and 
morality, or ethical living. A man may be a very good 
Christian, and a very bad man — bad, at least, according 
to the views of an outsider. When the form of religion 
has been observed, a man is free to go out and do much 
as he pleases, to lie, cheat and oppress to his heart's 
content. Benjamin Ide Wheeler in the article above 
referred to (see page 25) says that while patriotism keeps 
the Greek loyal to his church, **her teachings are practi- 
cally of slight importance to him." There is a good deal 
of superstition still existent in the Greek church, much of 
it connected with the ancient pagan religions.* A great 
deal of religious importance attaches to certain places and 

*A very interesting account of this matter may be found in an 
article by P. d'Estoumelles, entitled, ^'Ibe Superstitiona of Modern 
Greece," in the Century Magazine, 11 1 696, 



days. Nearly every day in the calendar is some saint's 
day, and the observance of it depends on the importance 
of the sainty or the number of people who are named after 
him. The "name-day" is customarily observed instead of 
the birthday. On the Galata bridge in Constantinople 
there used to be an old Jewish guide whose invariable 
greeting as he walked up behind the stranger was : "Grood 
morning, sir. This is a fine day, sir. This is a Greek 
holiday, sir." He was fairly safe in the statement. 

Much has been written on both sides in regard to the 
character of the Greek clergy. In point of fact, the 
character of the priesthood varies with the character of 
the individual priest. There is but little check on them. 
Many of them accordingly are earnest, upright and 
sincere. Some of them are lazy, hypocritical and vicious. 

One of the most scathing attacks ever made on the 
Greek church, as well as on numerous other phases of 
Greek life and society, is found in a book in modem Greek 
from the pen of Andrew Lascaris, called "The Mysteries 
of Cephalonia." A review of this book may be found in 
the Westminster Review, 67 : 228. It was published some 
time ago (1856) so that there has at least been room for 
improvement since. The author says that the Orthodox 
churchmen have three kinds of religious services (quoting 
from the Review) : "One which they profess and do not 
perform ; one which they perform and do not profess ; and 
one which they both profess and perform. The first is 
the service of Christ, the second that of the devil, and the 
third that of the belly." There is much more of the same 
tenor which need not be quoted. The author was himself 
a native of the island in question, which he was compelled 
to leave as a result of the publication of his book. The 



only answer, however, to his charges was from high church 
authority and consisted in abuse and anathema rather 
than in argument. 

The monasteries are an important feature in the modem 
Greek religion. There are several very ancient and 
famous ones, prominent among them the one at Meteora. 
This is situated on a rock over 800 feet high and the 
only way to reach it is to be pulled up by a rope and net. 
But there are a large number of minor ones scattered all 
through the kingdom. The denizens, who are of two 
classes, monks and lay brethren, spend their time in reli- 
gious exercises, and in tilling the soil and tending the herds. 
There is always a chapel in connection, in which services 
are held, and the monks frequently go out and hold services 
in neighboring churches. Boys are devoted to a monastic 
life by their parents, and commence their training in early 

Another characteristic feature of this form of Chris- 
tianity is the religious festivals or jraviiyvpta. These are 
held in certain places on certain specified days. The 
people gather early in the morning, and a religious ser- 
vice is held. The most obvious part of this consists in 
passing a contribution plate and sprinkling the donors 
with holy water from a small bottle, resembling those 
used^by barbers. This ceremony is soon over and the rest 
of the day is given up to enjoyment, singing, dancing 
and drinking. These pursuits frequently become very 
boisterous and revolvers shot into the air add zest to the 
revelry. On one occasion I saw the priest himself enter 
fully into the spirit of the day, singing, drinking and 
shooting off revolvers. By night he was so drunk that it 
took four men to get him home. The people seemed just 



« k 

• • »• 

•• • 

• • •■ 

• • 


a trifle disturbed, but remarked: ^'Never mind. Just once 
a year. What harm does it do?" 

One of the prettiest of these festivals is that held at 
Megara on the first Tuesday after Easter. Early in the 
morning the people gather from the villages all around, 
attired in their holiday costumes, the men in short, heavily 
pleated white kilts, the girls in brightly colored dresses 
with embroidered aprons and their dowries in the form 
of coins sewed into caps on their foreheads, or hung 
around their necks. The main dance of the occasion is 
performed by the girls. It is called the ^Hrata" and is 
supposed to represent the movement of drawing in the nets 
at the seashore. Other groups, sometimes containing both 
men and women, perform the customary folk dances. 

Easter is a very important season with the Greeks^ 
Another beautiful celebration held in connection with it 
is that observed in Athens on the eve of Easter Sunday, 
at the Metropolitan Church. By twelve o'clock the square 
in front of the church and the streets leading into it for 
some distance are packed with people. Each holds in his 
hand an unlighted candle and awaits the coming of the 
priest. At midnight he appears bearing in his hand a 
lighted candle. Those nearest him light their candles 
from his and pass the flame on to others, until in an incred- 
ibly short time the whole square is blazing as it were with 
a myriad of tiny stars. Then the assembly breaks up, and 
the people go home, singing "Kyrie Eleison," and express- 
ing their joy in more noisy ways by means of revolvers 
and firecrackers. 

Summing up the modem Greek religion, then, it may be 
said that it consists mainly in formalism. Many of the 
clergy and the great mass of the common people are 



denBely ignorant concerning the true nature of the teach- 
ings of Christ. There is but slight connection between 
religion and everyday life. NeverthelesSy on account of 
the national character of the religion the Greeks are very 
loyal to it, and it forms an important part of the consti- 
tution of every Greek conmiunity. 

The second of the great unifying factors mentioned 
above is the language. There can be no doubt that this 
has been of great value in keeping up race feeling, and 
hence race continuity, among the Greeks scattered all 
through the east Mediterranean countries. But many 
writers have gone further and have taken the similarity 
of the ancient and modem languages as a proof of the 
physical identity of race between the ancient and modem 
peoples. The erroneous nature of this sort of reasoning 
becomes very evident on the careful study of such a book 
as Ripley's Races of Europe. As demonstrated in this 
work, a language may remain but slightly changed, while 
the racial stock of the people which uses it is gradually 
but completely altered. This very process may be seen 
going on in the United States. In spite of all the change 
which has come in the ethnic constitution of the American 
people, it would be hard to find a single important change 
in the English language as spoken in the United States 
which is due to the admixture of foreign blood. This 
is because the infiltration of alien elements has been 
gradual. Of course there are sections of the country, 
like the "Dutch" regions of Pennsylvania, where large 
groups of foreign people, living in comparative isolation, 
speak a modified English, or a mixture of English and 
some other language. And if such a city as New York, 
which contains large colonies of various foreign peoples 



where English is ahnost unheard, were to be shut off from 
communication with the rest of the United States and at 
the same time was allowed to receive the same foreign con- 
tingents year by year, it would be hard to guess what sort 
of a language would eventually result. But if a gradual 
immigration from various foreign lands were to continue 
for a few generations, the immigrants being slowly and 
evenly diffused throughout the whole country, until the 
Anglo-Saxon blood of the American people should become 
as a drop in the bucket, it is very doubtfid if any 
appreciable alteration in the English language would be 
produced thereby. 

There is still another possible case — ^when a conquering 
nation holds dominion over another. Then we may expect 
to find many words transferred from one language to the 
other in both directions. In the case of Greek, the danger 
of using language as a test of race is increased by the fact 
that within recent years a strong effort has been made to 
bring the modem language artificially into closer con- 
formity with the ancient. 

In point of fact it is hardly correct to speak of a 
modem Greek language, for there are two grades of 
modem Greek, so distinct as almost to be called separate 
languages. For convenience sake they may be distin- 
guished as **high Greek" and "low Greek." The former 
is essentially the written language, the latter the spoken 
language. Most writers on modem Greece ignore this 
point almost completely. Mr. John Stuart Blackie, 
writing in Blackwood's Magazine, speaks of the two 
grades, but he makes the distinction not so much that 
between a written and a spoken language, as between the 
language of education and culture, and that of unedu- 




cation and ignorance. As will develop later, this does 
not exactly hit the point. 

In the writings of modem travelers we frequently find 
such sentences as the following: '^The student of ancient 
Greek finds no great difficulty in reading a modem Greek 
newspaper." This is not wholly untrue. But no mention 
is made of the fact that the uneducated Greek peasant has 
great difficulty in understanding the newspaper when it 
is read to him. A missionary in Smyrna, to whom Greek 
is as much her native language as English, read some 
passages from the modem Greek New Testament to 
her kitchen maid — a very intelligent, though uneducated 
girl — ^but she was not able to understand them. An expe- 
rience of my own well illustrates this point. While taking 
a short trip in a sailboat, I said to the boatman one day, 
*^Adfi€ Tov ircXov funi (take my hat)," and he looked at me in 
blank incomprehension. I repeated my remark in low 
Greek, *^ vdip€ ro fcaircXXo fiw " and he understood at once. 

It is not to be understood that there are two distinct 
sets of people, one speaking one grade of the language 
and the other the other. High Greek is the vehicle of 
>^xpression of literature, oratory, etc. Low Greek is the 
language of conversation. Educated people of course 
are familiar with both, but nobody thinks of talking the 
kind of language he reads in the newspapers, unless he 
is striving for efi^ect. This difference is not merely one 
in nicety of expression, or choice of idiom, or correctness 
of grammar. It is all this, but it is more. All through 
the language there is a difference of words, even for the 
simplest of meanings. One will be high Greek, the other 
low. The meaning will be identical. It is almost super- 
fluous to remark that the high Greek approximates most 



closely the ancient language. The following list of words 
is typical. 

High Gbexk 

Low Gbekx Emoubh EauivALEir 

iiriXaifBiivofiaiy Xtftryuawk 










KaBiickaj KopiicXa 



icaircAXo (v) 



S^dptoVf \(fapi 






Skoyo (v) 














Iwo&f KaraXofifidim 






iflyov, tpyturCoL 



These words have been chosen with care that there 
should not be the slightest difference in significance 
beween the terms. It will be observed that some of the 
low words are corruptions of high words, but more come 
from an entirely different root, and show no connection. 
This list might be extended almost indefinitely, but the 
examples will sufiice. This reduplication of words nat- 
urally applies mainly to words expressing some common, 
everyday idea. In the case of the more unusual, abstruse 
or refined conceptions, which are used exclusively by people 
of some education or culture, the same distinction does not 

These two grades, of course, frequently overlap both in 
writing and conversation. There are extensions in both 
directions. In looking up words in the dictionary one finds 



some of a highly chissical flavor, which he might search 
long to find in daily use, though their more vulgar equiva- 
lents may be of very frequent occurrence. On the other hand, 
the very uncultured and ignorant use a degraded language 
sufficiently distinct as almost to be classed as a third grade. 
But in this respect, Greek is not wholly different from other 
languages. Perhaps no word better illustrates the variety 
of elegance in the expression of a common idea than the 
word for donkey. The good word is **3vos," the vulgar 
word is ^'yoScpos" or ^'yatScpos.*' But in common use this is 
changed to ' ' yalSovpt" and as like as not the peasant will hitch 
on his favorite diminutive ending and call it ^'yatSovpaxi." 
Another good example is the word for steamboat. The high 
word is **4Tfw>irXouv" or more commonly **dr/iairX€iov." But 
the word almost universally used in conversation, so low that 
it frequently is not given in the dictionaries, comes from 
the French "vapeur'^ or Italian "vapore,'' and is **/3a»opt." 
In many sections this is further corrupted and becomes 
^^vofMTopi." In conversation with an intelligent Greek this 
matter came up, and he took a piece of paper from his 
pocket and, with only a moment^ s reflection, wrote down 
ten equivalents for the word ^ 'stone, ^^ and seven for the 
phrase ''he went.'^ In this case, however, there would 
probably be some slight distinction in meaning between 
some of the words. Even to so common a word as the 
indefinite article "a^^ or "an,^^ this distinction extends. 
This in Greek is the word "one^^ and is properly declined, 
*^€U, fiCd, iy" and so one finds it in the books and news- 
papers. But no one ever thinks of using it so in conver- 
sation ; there it is declined, *'ims or Ivos, fua, tva." But this 
is really a matter of grammar, and brings us to the con- 
sideration of that topic. 



The grammar of the modem Greek language is theo- 
reticaUy very similar to the ancient, though some super- 
fluities such as the dual number have been dropped, and 
the genitive case very largely takes the place of the dative. 
In writing, the rules of grammar are adhered to with 
considerable fidelity, but in conversation Greek suffers the 
changes that every highly inflected language is liable to. 
There is a constant tendency to reduce the inflection of 
both verbs and nouns. Unnecessary inflectional termina- 
tions are dropped. Every possible noun is put into the 
neuter and is made to end in **o"or'*i." Only three 
cases, the nominative, genitive and accusative, are used, 
and in the neuter the first and last of these are the same. 
Agreement between an adjective and a noun, and other 
fine points of grainmar are carelessly treated, and the 
constant tendency is to reduce the language to a less 
cumbersome, more convenient means of expression. In 
some ways the efforts of 'the scholars to force the language 
back into its classical form are commendAle. Yet it is 
very questionable whether it is wise to try to stem the 
current of natural development, and it seems highly prob- 
able that the result will be, instead of purifying the every- 
day language of the people, merely to make the resources 
of modem Greek literature comparatively unavailable to 
the lower classes. 

The pronunciation of modem Greek differs considerably 
from the Erasmian pronunciation which is taught in the 
American schools, and which arouses the extreme ridicule 
of modem Greeks. The greatest variation is in the vowel 
flounds. ''a" has but one sound, corresponding to the 
English "a."* **€" and "oi" are pronounced •*e.'' '% 

•As In "father." 


<i_ i» 


*'i," **v,"and the dipthongs "a" and **oi" all have the 
same sound, the English long ^'e,'^ the commonest vowel 
soimd in the Greek language. '*o'* and *'»" both have 
the same sound, *'o,^' while the diphthong **ov" is pro- 
nounced like **ou'' in "through. '' **ai" has the soiuid of 
" 1 , " but is rarely used except in words of foreign derivation. 
There are accordingly only about six vowel sounds in modem 
Greek, with the result that the language is decidedly 
monotonous to listen to. As regards the consonants, the 
principal variations from the Erasmian system are ^'/S,'* 
pronounced **v'' and **8" pronounced "th.''» * >" is rolled 
and ''y** and ^'x*' ^^^^ a guttural quality for which there 
is no English equivalent. 

In language, as in other things, there are frequent local 
peculiarities in the various portions of the Greek world. 
For instance, the Cretans have quite a distinct pronun- 
ciation for the letter **x" equivalent to the English "sh. 
In general, the language of Greece proper is ^^higher 
than that of Turkey, where there is a greater admixture 
of Turkish and Italian words. The Greek pastor of one 
of the Protestant churches in Turkey, an extremely intelli- 
gent man, and a graduate of the University of Athens, 
found difficulty in preaching to his people in a language 
which would be intelligible to them. On the other hand, 
in some of the out-of-the-way islands, untouched by the 
changes of centuries, there is said to exist a language 
strongly suggestive in many particulars of the classic 

Our conclusion in regard to the language must be that 
while the modem tongue is widely divergent from the 
ancient, there is yet an unbroken connection between the 

•As in "then." 




two, and though we are not warranted in taking this as 
a proof of the racial homogeneity of the ancient and 
modem peoples, there can be no doubt that the language 
has rendered great service in preserving the race feeling, 
and in maintaining the national continuity of the people. 



The Direct Causes of Emigbation 

IN the preceding pages we have endeavored to give a 
hasty portrayal of the life and character of the 
modem Greeks, with special reference to migration move- 
mentsy and we have seen that for varied reasons emigra- 
tion from Greece is no new thing. It has been in the spirit 
of the Greek people from time immemorial. But in past 
generations it has been a gradual, natural movement, a 
draining off of the surplus population. Within the last 
fifteen years, however, there has sprung up a new emigra- 
tion — the emigration to America — ^which is no longer a 
gradual withdrawal of those who cannot find elbow-room 
in the old country, nor a natural departure of the more 
adventurous and enterprising, to seek more fertile fields 
of fortune. It is a radical, violent exodus of all the strong 
young men, which has already devastated whole villages, 
and threatens to leave the entire kingdom depleted of its 
natural working force. What is the origin of this phe- 
nomenon? What are the causes of this sudden and start- 
ling emigration? 

It is a well-known principle of all emigration, that there 
must be some active dissatisfaction or discomfort in the 
home land to cause large bodies of people to leave. The 
assumption is that the generality of mankind will remain 
in the land in which they are bom, unless some strong 
motive impels them to leave. The inertia of human beings 
is great. To induce people to break the bonds of family 

* This chapter was printed in the Yak Bm>Uu) for August, 1009, 
and is reproduced here by permission of the publishers. 



and neighborhood relations^ to give up a known situation 
for an untried one, to turn their backs on the home 
country and seek some far-off shore, there must in general 
be some national, local or personal disability to over- 
balance the influences of home attachments. The diffi- 
culty may be political, religious, economic or social. In 
seeking the causes of the new Greek emigration we must 
examine each of these possible classes of causes, and elimi- 
nate any which have no bearing on the problem under dis- 
cussion. For the present purposes three of th^m may be 
dismissed very briefly. 

First of all, the political condition. Greece is a very 
democratic country politically; and while there is prob* 
ably too much political agitation, ambition and turmoil 
for the good of the country, there is no true political 
oppression. It would be hard to find a case in which the 
political condition was an active motive for emigration. 
The 'terms of military service are light. All men over 
twenty-one years of age are required to render active ser- 
vice- for two years, but this is usually done gladly, and 
instead of finding Greeks fleeing from home to escape this 
duty, we more often find them returning from America on 
purpose to perform it. The insecurity which still prevails 
in some sections is occasionally cited as a motive for emi- 
gration, but it is a factor of very slight importance. The 
same may be said of religion. Practically every Greek is 
loyal to the form and name, at least, of the orthodox 
religion of his country and finds its service no hardship. 
There are no oppressed religious sects or denominations. 
The religion is a national one, and a Greek feels no more 
uneasiness in respect to it than he does toward his race. 
It is true that Protestants are not very kindly looked upon 



in Greece, but they are not at all a numerous class, and 
as for any real persecution, there is none of it. Religion 
cuts practically no figure as a motive for emigration. 
Nor does the social aspect of the matter yield an explana- 
tion. While there are social classes in Greece, they are 
very largely determined by wealth, and the social disabili- 
ties that any man feels are largely the result of economic 
conditions. There remains then the economic situation, 
and we may be permitted to anticipate, in so far as to 
say that the causes of Greek emigration are practically 
e ntirely economic. This being the case, a rather detailed 
examination into the economic conditions of the country 
must constitute the basis of our inquiry. 

The population of Greece, according to the last 
three censuses, was as follows: 1889, 2,187,208; 1896, 
2,449,506; 1907, 2,691,952. As the area is about 
25,000 square miles, the population per square mile in 
these years was respectively 87, 97 and 106. This is by 
no means a dense population, and while there are vast 
expanses of mountain area where there are very few inhab- 
itants, still even in the more thickly settled districts the 
people are not sufficiently crowded to justify us in regard- 
ing mere over-population as a cause of emigration. Many 
countries get along very prosperously with a much denser 
population than this. 

Greece is today, as of old, primarily . ^n agric ultural 
and pastoral, and secondarily a m ercantil e country. The 
same mountains and seas still divicleit into a series of small 
habitation-districts, somewhat less isolated than formerly, 
indeed, on account of improved transportation facilities. 
The great majority of the people still live in small towns 
and villages which are self-supporting and self-sufficient; 


^ m ^ ^ / 

• - - 


there are few large cities in Greece.* The abler mercan- 
tile spirits must still seek a foreign field for their energies. 

Agricultural methods and implements are still very 
primitiye in Greece. The bulk of the cultivating is done 
either by means of heavy iron hoes, wielded by hand, or by 
rude wooden plows drawn by diminutive oxen. In some 
of the more enlightened districts steel plows are beginning 
to be used and horses are employed for draught purposes. 
Within a half-hour's walk of Athens, however, one will find 
wooden plows, sometimes with iron shafts. Thus the culti- 
vation of the soil is very superficial. Simple irrigation 
systems are in very common use. The harvesting is done 
by hand, and the grain is trodden out by ponies on a 
circular, stone-paved threshing floor. In the Lake Copais 
district in northern Greece, on the land made available 
for cultivation by the drainage of Lake Copais, more up- 
to-date methods are in use. Even here, however, reapers 
and binders had to be discarded on account of the softness 
of the ground, and the old sickles or reaping-hooks 
employed again. Steam threshers are still in use in this 

The principal agricultural products of Greece are 
currants, wheat, olives, figs, corn, hashish, tobacco and a 
variety of garden vegetables. Currants are mainly ex- 
ported, and hashish entirely (mostly to Egypt) ; the other 
products are largely consumed at home. It is compara- 
tively easy to make a bare living in Greece; while the 
arable plains and valleys are often so stony as to make a 

*The population of the principal dties in 1907 was as follows s 
Athens, 167^79; Pinens, 67,980; Patras, 37,401; Corfu, 97,397; Volo^ 
f»319; Hermopolis (Syra), 17,773; Trikala, 17,809; Zante^ 13,501; 
Calamata, 13,193; Pyrgos, 13,690; Tripolis, 10,787; Laurion, 10,007. 
From CoDsiilar Reports, Mr. Kathan, Patras. 



peasant open his eyes in incredulous wonder when he hears 
of farms where a man can plow all day without striking 
a single pebble, they are nevertheless fertile, and even 
under inadequate cultivation yield a fair return. The 
rocky hillsides support flocks of sheep and goats which 
furnish wool for clothing material, and milk, butter and 
cheese for food. The necessities of life therefore are close 
at hand and easily accessible; while there is a good deal 
of exaggeration about the common saying that, *^a Greek 
can live on the smell of an oiled rag," yet the needs of the 
peasant are simple and easily supplied. Want that verges 
on starvation is rare in Greece. 

On the other hand, it is difficult under these circum- 
stances to lay up even a moderate amount of money. As 
would be expected in a primitive agricultural country, 
each of the small towns or villages, which form a charac- 
teristic feature of the Greek social organization, is almost 
entirely independent. The majority of the families raise 
their own living materials ; thread is spun and cloth woven 
by hand and at home ; baking is done in the stone or mud 
oven which stands in every typical dooryard ; shoes, cook- 
ing utensils and various implements and tools are made in 
small shops in the village. Thus each man's products are 
virtually the same as his neighbor's, and there is small 
necessity or opportunity for exchange. As a result, the 
internal commerce of Greeo^ is insignificant. 

This state of affairs is accentuated by the small develop- 
ment of transportation:^ facilities. While there has been 
much improvement in this respect in the last few years, 
means of communication are still very inadequate. There 
are a number of good highways in Greece, some of them 
kept in fair condition ; other roads are merely a succession 



of mudholes, while a great part of the carrying must still 
be done by horses or mules over mere bridlepaths. When 
crops have to be transported in this way for several hours 
before reaching a railroad or market, any possible profit 
is quickly consumed. The railroads are all owned by 
private companies, of which the stock is largely in foreign 
hands. In 1908 the mileage was as follows: Hellenic 
railways, 149 miles; Peloponnesus Railway, 468 miles; 
Thessalian Railway, 1£7 miles; total, 744 miles.* The 
trains are of the English type, the cars small and the 
tracks narrow. The schedules are for the most part very 
slow: the distance from Athens to Calamata, about 206 
miles, is a matter of about twelve hours by rail, an average 
of seventeen miles per hour; between Athens and Patras 
express trains run three or four times a week which make 
somewhat better time. There are three classes and the 
tariffs are as follows: First class, .12, second class, .10, 
third class, .06 drachmas per kilometer. Reduced to our 
basis of measurement these rates are, S.8, S.2 and 1.9 cents 
per mile. The postal service is miserable : if a letter is in 
the mails between Patras and Athens, the addressee is for- 
tunate if he receives it before the third day after it is 
posted. At the same time domestic letter-postage is .20 
drachmas, the equivalent of four cents, which seems espe- 
cially exorbitant when the diminutive size of the country is 

The ignorance and stupidity of the people sometimes 
impede improvement along these lines. A short time ago, 
when an effort was made to introduce freight and passen* 
ger automobiles for service between Tripolis and Sparta, 
and some freight automobiles in Athens, the populace 
* Daily ConsuUr Trade Reports, October 9, 1908^ p. 11. 




opposed the innovation with demonstrations amountiiii; 
ahnost to riots. The argument advanced was that 
these new machines would put horses out of business, 
thereby advancing the price of bread, as there would 
then be no demand for bran. The press supported the 
demonstrators ! 

One of the most up-to-date transportation facilities in 
Greece is the electric tram line between Athens and the 
Piraeus. In the equipment, handling of passengers, run- 
ning of trains and attendance, this line is admirably 

In consideration of the conditions outlined above, and 
the difficulties of interior commerce resulting therefrom, 
it is inevitable that for any lucrative trade the Greek is 
obliged to rely upon export ; and yet the exportable prod- 
ucts of the country are few. By far the most important 
of these is the currant, a small, very sweet, seedless grape 
which is raised on the lowlands along the west coast of the 
peninsula and on some of the islands. This district fur- 
nishes practically the whole currant supply of the world. 
The currants are dried in the sun, cleaned, packed in car- 
tons, boxes, or barrels, and shipped to England, America, 
or elsewhere. Currant raising is the fundamental industry 
of the nation, and the dependence of the whole Greek 
people on the currant crop is almost pathetic. Other 
export products are wine (made largely from currants), 
cheese, olives and olive oil, figs and hashish. 

The importance of the export trade, even though the 
articles of export are so few, added to the natural mer- 
cantile proclivities of the people, has led a large part of 
the Greek people in all times to devote themselves to mari- 
time pursuits. The Greeks are today, as always, a nation 



of sailors. The following statement is taken from Mr. 
Horton's reports: "According to ^Veritas,' a British 
publication, the Greek marine for 1906 numbered 204 
steamers of 868,484 total tonnage, while in 1906 it con- 
sisted of 186 steamers of 883,921 tonnage. Of sailing 
vessels of more than 60 tons each, the number is given for 
1906 as 877, with a total tonnage of 179,846." Greece 
is said to be the foremost rival of Great Britain for the 
trade of Constantinople. Sea traffic has been considerably 
facilitated bj the Corinth Canal, completed in 1898. 
This was not a paying investment on the basis of the 
original cost, and was recently sold at auction; on the 
new, and much smaller capitalization, it is said to be pay- 
ing handsome dividends. Unfortunately it is too narrow 
to admit the larger ships in the Mediterranean service. 
The principal port of the kingdom is the Pineus, which 
has an excellent harbor, and the main shipping port for 
the currant crop is Patras. In the height of the shipping 
season the whole water front of the city presents a scene 
of feverish activity. Patras is also the main point of 
embarkation for the emigrants to America. 

When it became evident that emigration to America was 
going to assume large proportions, efforts were made to 
organize one or two Greek steamship companies, operating 
direct lines to the United States. But the inveterate fac- 
tionalism and commercial dishonesty, so characteristic of 
the race, seriously hindered these projects. In regard to 
one of these companies we find the following statement in 
an official report in 1906: '^Unfortunately the projected 
line of steamships between the Piraeus and New York has 
not yet materialized. The project fell through just at the 
moment when it seemed about to be realized, on account 



of personal differences among the directors. The com- 
pany is now split up into two hostile factions, one of which 
seems to have the ships and the other most of the money, 
and until they get together there is not much prospect of 
the line being got into running order." This passage 
undoubtedly refers to the Moraites Company, which was 
finally organized and in 1908 sent its first ship to New 
York. But the compan/ was short-lived. Soon after its 
organization two of its ships were sunk, one near Greece 
and one near New Orleans, and the circumstances of the 
sinking of at least one of them were so suspicious that the 
insurance companies refused to pay the loss. This 
catastrophe, coupled with dissensions among the directors, 
broke up the company ; it was speedily reorganized, how- 
ever, and is now doing business, under the name ^^Themis- 
tokles," which is also the new name of the principal ship 
of the line. More recently a new line has been started 
bearing the title ^^Hellenic Transatlantic Steam Naviga- 
tion Company, Ltd.," whose principal emigrant ship is the 
Patris. This company, too, had a stroke of hard luck, 
which cast a shadow over its career and tended to put the 
Greek companies in bad repute in the eyes of shippers and 
insurance companies. Late in the winter of 1908-09 one 
of its cargo steamers was entering the harbor of Patras 
at night and collided with a Belgian cargo boat lying 
anchored outside the breakwater, sinking the latter in 
water deep enough to preclude all probability of salvage. 
The excuse given by the Greek captain was that he could 
not tell whether the other ship was outside or inside the 

Frederick List, in his system of economics, laid great 
stress on the importance to any nation of a diversified in- 


d -J 

 m J 

^ J 


dustry. There can be no doubt that in the generality of 
cases, the agricultural resources of a country need to be 
supplemented by a well-developed manufacturing industry 
in order to secure the greatest prosperity. In this respect 
Greece is sadly lacking, for its manufactures are in a very 
low state ; the plants are for the most part small and com- 
paratively insignificant.* One sees very few factories of 
considerable size while traveling through Greece; some of 
the most notable plants are those of the Soci^t^ Hell^nique 
de Vins et Spiritueux at Eleusis and Calamata. The 
reasons for this meager development of manufactures are 
various. In the first place, Greece is very poorly supplied 
with mineral resources; there is no coal, and the lignite 
which has been discovered in northern Greece has hitherto 
proved of little value. The mineral products include iron, 
manganese, chrome ore, magnesiiun, sulphur, emery stone, 
plaster, salt, lead, silver ore, speiss, marble and millstones. 
But the total value of these products in 1906 was only 
$2,615,086, though it rose to $4,070,928 in 1906.t Lack 
of coal is not compensated for by any abundant water 
power; the mountain streams are utilized in a small way 
to turn gristmills, but if there are any extensive resources 
in this direction, they have not as yet been developed. 

Another economic disability is presented by the matter 
of taxation. The agricultural taxes are not heavy ; they 
consist mainly in a tax on live stock and one on productive 
plants, as for instance a tax on vineyards of from one and 
one half to four drachmas per stremma (1,196 square 

* In Table 1 is given a list of Uie principal manufacturing estab- 
lishments in operation in tlie principal cities of Greece in tlie year 

t Consul-General*8 Report, 1908. 



yards). But the total is not great and these taxes are not 
felt as a burden. The customs tariffs, on the other hand, 
are very onerous; they are arbitrary and in many cases 
extreme.^ The customs officials are often careless and 
arrogant, and the assessments are very uneven, varying 
from 15 per cent to 80 per cent on the same article. 
Groods are handled very roughly by the inspectors, fre- 
quently being dumped out on the floor, and breakage in 
the customs house is a serious item in the cost of goods. 
There is also a great deal of corruption among the officials. 

Another really serious hindrance to the development of 
manufactures is the frequency of religious holidays. The 
profits on an expensive installment of machinery are very 
quickly eaten up if it has to lie idle eight or ten days out 
of the month — and the Greeks will not work on holidays. 
Even to the casual traveler, it is a source of continual 
annoyance to be unable, on irregularly recurring occasions 
with which he is unfamiliar, to make purchases or to have 
checks cashed. The conunercial representative of a 
foreign business house finds the situation still more vexing. 
Industry in Greece is subject to the conmion disadvantages 
which affect all undeveloped countries. Transportation 
difficulties have been noticed ; and the difficulty of getting 
repairs for machinery is another quite important element 
in the problem. There are some iron and brass foundries, 
but their output is mainly rough, and as most of the 
machines in use in the country are imported, the breaking 
of a small part may cause a very expensive delay. 

There still remains to be considered what is the most 
fundamental and perhaps the most serious of all the bin- 

* Table 9 gives the tariifs on some of the principal articles of 


drances to the developmeiit of industry in this country — 
the old dishonesty and inability to work together in 
harmony, which have already been mentioned as inveter- 
atdy Greek. These people seem incapable of carrying 
on a large cooperative business with harmony and success. 
When Greek meets Greek, still comes the tug of war — 
each individual tugging to get the greatest possible share 
of the profits into his own pocket, or at least to get the 
completest possible control of the business into his own 
hands. One of the maxims of Greek business life trans- 
lated into the American vernacular is, ^Tut out the other 
fellow's eye" ; the idea of sacrificing personal interest and 
gain for the sake of the company's prosperity is foreign 
to the Greek mind. This is not merely the opinion of a 
foreign observer, but is frankly admitted by many intelli- 
gent and candid thinkers among the Greeks themselves. 
The disastrous effect of this peculiarity in the case of the 
Moraites Company has been alluded to; and yet another 
example is furnished by the lead mines at Laurion. There 
are two companies working these mines, one Greek and 
one French: the former has every advantage, while the 
latter works only the tailings left by the ancients; yet 
it is said that the French company is making handsome 
profits, while the Greek concern never pays a dividend on 
account of disagreements among the directors. 

This industrial stagnation is not due to lack of capital, 
for there is plenty of it in the country. There are many 
wealthy Greeks, and large sums of money are lying on 
deposit in the banks of Athens, drawing only 8 or 4 per 
cent.^ But the Greek plutocrat of today, who in all 
probability has made his fortune in some foreign land, 

* These sums are said to amount to S00»000,000 francs. 



prefers to spend it in a life of idleness and ease in the 
coffee-houses and clubs of Athens rather than to take the 
trouble to employ it himself in some productive industry ; 
and he is afraid to entrust it to any of his countrymen to 
be so employed, for he has no confidence in their business 
ability or honesty. 

The conditions outUned above have produced an anoma- 
lous and very unfortunate situation in Greece today. 
Prices are very high, wages are very low ; a comparison of 
actual figures^ will show that for the working man even the 
ordinary comforts of life are almost out of the question. 
Within the last few years Athens has ceased to be a cheap 
place to live in, and has become one of the most expensive 
cities in Europe. A summary of this state of affairs is 
quoted by Mr. Horton from a writer in the EconamUt 
d' Orient^ as follows :t All the merchants, great and 
small, testify to a stagnation, the causes of which they 
can not explain, or profess not to know. The peasants 
desert the country either to sit about the cafes of Athens 
and Pineus, or to leave for America. The minister of war 
has recently been able to recruit only 6,000 to 7,000 men 
on a caU for 15,000. Nearly 200,000 young men have 
emigrated to America and the Transvaal. About 1,000 
houses are vacant in Athens, and yet the prices of rent 
have raised 15 to 20 per cent. The principal articles of 
food grow dearer continually, and the products of manu- 
facture, notwithstanding the fall of exchange to 1.08 and 
1.09, are at the same price in drachmas as when the franc 

* A list of the rates of wages in various occupations will be found 
in Table S .and the prices of some of the more important commodi- 
ties in Tables 4 and 5. 

t Consular Reports, May 11, 1907. 



was worth 1.55 to 1.60." Rents in Athens net about 5 
per cent or 6 per cent after dedacting taxes, water-rates, 
etc. Interest rates in Tarions parts of Greece vary from 
6 per cent to 8 per cent or 10 per cent. A few years ago 
they ran from 10 per cent to 15 per cent. 

The f aU in exchange, mentioned in the foregoing quota- 
tion, is one of the most remarkable features of the economic 
situation in Greece. The standard of value in Greece is 
the gold drachma, corresponding in value to the French 
franc and the Italian lira, but the common medium of 
exchange is the paper drachma. This money is issued in 
the form of bank notes, of the denominations of one, two, 
fire and ten drachmas, and higher denominations, the size 
of the paper note varying with the value. A decade ago 
the exchange between gold and silver was in the neighbor- 
hood of 160, that is to say, with 100 gold or silver drach- 
mas or francs you could secure 160 paper drachmas with 
which you could go out and make your purchases. Large 
amounts of money, salaries, and in fact any permanent 
sums of mcmey are reckoned in gold, while ordinary prices 
are quoted in the more unstable medium of paper. Even 
in so recent a publication as the 1905 edition of Baedeker's 
Guide Book, hotel rates, etc., are frequently quoted in both 
gold and paper, and the difference is proportional to that 
between eight and twelve. YiTithin the last few years, 
however, the rate of exchange has faUen rapidly until it 
now stands at 108, or even less. The following causes 
have been suggested for this phenomenon: (1) Loans 
from European sources for the financing of internal enter- 
prises; (£) restoration of confidence in Greece, leading 
to the purchase abroad of Greek securities; (8) emigra- 
tion to America. Large sums of money have been sent 



back home, making currency freer. These sums are esti- 
mated by the Postmaster-General of Greece at about 
$8,000,000 per year. Mr. Horton's report for 1905, 
from which these suggestions have been taken, enumerates 
three others of a more temporary nature: (4) A good 
grain crop in Thessaly; (5) the founding of the Banque 
d'Orient; (6) the fact that during the English-Boer war, 
gold was used by Greek capitalists to buy ships. With 
the cessation of the war, this outlay ceased, while the ships 
continued to earn money. 

It is very probable that the money sent home from 
America should rank as the most important of all these 
causes. But, however caused, the effect of this fall in 
exchange is sufficiently definite; nominal prices have re- 
mained practically the same as they were ten years ago, 
which means that real prices have advanced virtually about 
80 per cent. There has been some advance in wages to 
compensate for it; but the wage-earning class in Greece 
is not a large one, and for the salaried classes and the 
small independent producer, it means that the cost of 
living has increased enormously. The whole discouraging 
situation is so admirably summed up in Mr. Horton^s 
Report on Industrial Conditions, that we take the liberty 
of quoting several paragraphs entire (Report of 1908). 

^^There are few manufacturing plants Jind none of any 

great importance Female and child labor are very 

generally utilized in Greece, whenever they can be made 

serviceable There is not much hope for a laboring 

man to save money in Greece, where three to four drachmas 
a day are good wages and where seven drachmas are 
regarded as a high wage for a master workman." A 
laborer earning five drachmas per day will pay ten drach- 



mas per month for a room for himself and his family. 
**The workman's breakfast consists of bread and black 
coffee ; his luncheon of a piece of bread, or if he can afford 
it, a piece of bread and some black olives, which he usually 
takes with him in a little round, covered box. Sometimes 
he buys a half cent's worth of inferior grapes, or a tomato. 
Thus his lunch would cost, say, six cents for bread and 
two cents for olives. 

**At night the family dines on a few cents' worth of 
rice, boiled together with wild greens and olive oil, and 
bread, or wild greens boiled in olive oil and eaten with 

bread, or some similar inexpensive dish Meat is 

eaten by the laboring classes as a general thing three 
times a year: Christmas, Easter, and on the so-called 
^Birth of the Virgin,' which the church has set down for 
the month of August. Such a family as I am describing, 
the average laboring man's family of Greece, rarely if 
ever see such things as butter, eggs and milk. There are 
180 fasting days in the Greek religious year, which are 
rigorously observed by the laboring class, without, how- 
ever, causing any marked degree of abnegation in the 
matter of diet." 

People living under conditions of this sort are ripe for 
emigration, especially if, like the Greeks, they are of a 
stock which has always displayed great readiness in sever- 
ing home ties. All that is needed to start an enormous 
exodus is some immediate stimulus, some slight turn in the 
condition of affairs, provided that a favorable outlet pre- 
sents itself, and the process of migration is not too expen- 
sive or difficult. As an American gentleman of long resi- 
dence in Athens remarked, ^*The wonder is, not that the 



Greeks are now emigrating to America in such numbers, 
but that they did not begin long ago." 

The new Greek emigration to America is a matter of 
the last decade.^ It is within this period that these people 
have been coming in such inunense and ever-increasing 
numbers as to make the movement a true social phenome- 
non. It seems undeniable that there must have been some 
moving cause, some epochal development, about the close 
of the nineteenth century, to have started the wheel to 
turning with such increased velocity. If we review the 
causes of the industrial mal-development as outlined above, 
we find nothing there of very recent origin except the 
matter of the fall in exchange ; this, however, is primarily 
a result and only secondarily a cause of emigration. It 
is almost impossible to get even an intelligent Greek to 
comprehend your meaning if you ask him what was the 
immediate cause of the new emigration. These people are 
not fitted by mental equipment or training for analytical 
reasoning; they habitually look only at the surface of 
things. About all the answer you can hope to get is 
something as follows: ^^Why, our country is poor and 
America is rich. They go there because they can get 
more money." 

The two most plausible explanations for this new move- 
ment are connected with the hostility of Roumania and 
Bulgaria, and with the failure of|the currant market, both 
of which occurrences are of comparatively recent origin. 
In former years large numbers of Greeks found a field for 
their enterprise in the neighboring countries of Roumania 
and Bulgaria. These Greeks did not belong exclusively 
to the exploiting class, such as has always gone to Turkey 

* See Table 6. 





and Egypt — though perhaps here too they were the most 
numerous ; there were also large numbers of agriculturists 
and some laborers, particularly boatmen and stevedores 
along the Danube. However, within the last quarter of a 
century a strong feeling of hostility to the Greeks has 
grown up in both Bulgaria and Roumania : in Bulgaria the 
difficulty \s largely due to religious antagonism between 
the clergy and the people of the two nations, and it is 
coming to pass that a Greek hates a Bulgarian almost as 
much as he does a Turk. In Roumania the trouble is 
largely political: in accordance with recent legislation, 
unless a Greek becomes a Roumanian citizen (which very 
few are willing to do), he is subjected to a great deal of 
annoyance and hindrance. In consequence of all this, 
Greeks have ceased going to the countries in question, and 
many who were there have returned, sometimes with broken 
fortunes. It is said that Russia also gives the Greeks less 
freedom now than of old. Against the use of these facts 
as an explanation of the new emigration it is argued that 
the movement to Bulgaria and Roumania was never nearly 
so extensive as it now is to America, and that the class of 
emigrants was different from that which turns toward 
America, being composed much more largely of the com- 
mercial and exploiting class. Both of these points are 
undoubtedly true, but, as has been already pointed out, 
there were a good number of Greek laborers among the 
emigrants to the north and east. And even if there had 
not been, a comparatively small number of the more intelli- 
gent and enterprising class, going to America and estab- 
lishing themselves in prosperous business, would have 
opened the way for a much larger number of a lower class 
to follow them. It seems entirely reasonable to suppose 



that the closure of one outlet for emigration must have 
served as a contributory motive for seeking another outlet 

The second explanation is, however, probably much more 
important, as it is directly connected with the basic agri- 
cultural industry of the country. About 1868 there 
appeared in France a disastrous pest among the grape- 
vines which was identified as the phylloxera, a disease 
caused by a small insect belonging to the family of the 
aphides or plant lice, and whose native home is in America. 
These insects attach themselves to the roots of the vines, 
forming roughness and swellings, and causing the leaves 
to turn yellow and wither and the fruit to shrivel up. 
After the introduction of phylloxera into France it spread 
very rapidly and caused great devastation. But what 
was France's loss was the gain of Greece, for the failure 
of the grape crop in France caused a large demand for 
Greek currants to be used in wine making in the former 
country. For a while the currant market was very 
vigorous, and the culture of this fruit was the most lucra- 
tive agricultural pursuit in Greece. Allured by the prom- 
ise of large and speedy profits in currant raising, the 
Greek farmers allowed the silk culture to decline, and very 
many of them cut down their fine old olive orchards and 
planted the ground with vines. For a while all went well ; 
but in the meantime France was making every effort to 
discover some efficient means of combating the pest. 
Chemical inoculation of the soil, inundation of the vine- 
yards, mechanical cleansing of the roots, were all tried 
with no great success. American vines, immune to the dis- 
ease, were imported, but this resulted in a deterioration 
of the wine. Finally, late in the nineteenth century, a new 



experiment was tried: American vines were imported and 
upon their roots were grafted branches of French vines. 
Thus were combined the immunity of the former and the 
fine quality of the latter. The process was eminently suc- 
cessful and proved to be the solution of the problem; the 
culture of the vine revived in France, and as a consequence 
there was a sharp falling off in the market for currants 
which spelled disaster for Greece. The olive trees could 
not be replaced, since it takes many years for an olive 
orchard to reach a really productive stage. 

The depressed state of the currant market is one of the 
most noticeable features of the economic situation in 
Greece at the present time. Everybody is talking about 
it. A large part of the crop of 1908 was still lying unsold 
in the warehouses the following spring. Various efforts 
have been made to find some new way to utilize this 
material. One of the most successful has been the manu- 
facture from currants of combustible spirits which can be 
used in lamps and heating stoves. The visitor to Greece 
notices everywhere a peculiar form of lamp, using a mantle 
of the Welsbach type, but burning alcohol. Experiments 
are now being carried on in the hope of devising some 
method of extracting sugar from the currants, and while 
so far the experimenters have not succeeded in crystalliz- 
ing the syrup, considerable hope is cherished as to the final 
outcome of the attempt. At present, however, the currant 
industry is sadly demoralized. 

This serious and comparatively sudden disaster to the 
market for the principal export crop furnished the imme- 
diate stimulus which was needed to make a people, already 
in depressed condition, seek for some relief from the 
burdens of their existence. The traditional method of 



relief for the Greek people is emigration. All that was 
needed was the prospect of some favorable country to go 
to, and some provision for the journey thither. The 
Greek succeeds best either in countries where he is superior 
in business capacity to the native inhabitants, or in a 
highly developed industrial country, where he can work 
himself into some unoccupied comer of the commercial 
edifice and build up a small but lucrative trade. To the 
former class belong Turkey, Persia, and Egj^t, and in 
these countries there are large numbers of prosperous 
Greek business men. But opportunities of this sort are 
limited in number and demand an experience, capital and 
ability which the ordinary peasant does not possess. A 
large number of Greeks tried the Transvaal, but they 
were not very successful there, probably because the local 
English business men were their superiors, and the country 
was not sufficiently developed to oflTer many opportunities 
for profitable small trade. America, on the other hand, 
and especially the United States, offered just the condi- 
tions which the Greek populace was looking for; it was 
a highly developed country, with plenty of money, and 
people were ready to pay well for the gratification of their 
minor wants. For a quarter of a century Greeks had been 
going to America in small numbers ; they had been, for the 
most part, successful, and were in command of businesses 
which to the Greek peasant appeared highly lucrative; 
and they had been sending home glowing accounts of the 
attractions of America, accompanied by sums of money 
which appeared munificent to their poverty-stricken rela- 
tives and friends in the fatherland. These communications 
had made their due impression, and when the Greeks began 
to feel the necessity of escape from an increasingly difficult 



sitoation, America seemed to them the new land of promise, 
and they began by thousands to answer to her call. Once 
started, this movement, like the familiar chain letter, could 
not be checked, but grew by its own multiplication. Each 
Greek in America became the nucleus of a rapidly increas* 
ing group of his own kin or neighbors. So began that 
great exodus which assumed such startling proportions in 
the early years of the present century. Given the stimulus 
and the goal, all that remained to be provided was the 
means of migration — ^the material means of conveyance 
and the financial means to defray the expenses. Both of 
these were promptly forthcoming; steamship agents are 
never slow to seize opportunities such as existed in Greece 
at the time in question, and all the principal Mediterranean 
steamship lines established agencies in the Piraeus, Patras 
and other ports, as well as in some of the important interior 
cities. Emigration agents began to scour the country, 
exciting the imagination of the peasants as to the glories 
and opportunities of America, clearing away the difficulties 
which seemed to beset the passage, and in many cases 
advancing the money for the trip. In other cases, if the 
prospective emigrant could not get together sufficient 
money at home, it was furnished him by some friend or 
relative in America. 

Just how large a part in this movement has been played 
by emigration agents, legally and illegally, it would be 
impossible to say. In matters of this kind the Greek is 
extremely deep and crafty, and it would be the work of 
months, perhaps of years, for a skilleil detective actually 
to make out a case against the Greek emigration agents. 
They are accused in some cases of working through the 
priests. One of the first things that attracts the eye of 



the traveler landing in the Piraeus is the amazing number 
of American flags flying from office buildings all along 
the water front and the neighboring streets ; their signifi- 
cance is somewhat perplexing until he learns that they are 
steamship offices or emigration agencies — for there is no 
great distinction between the two. Patras and all the 
other leading ports abound in offices of this kind, and they 
are also to be found in very many cities and villages in 
the interior. It is contrary to human nature, particularly 
to Greek human nature, that in the face of this keen com- 
petition these agents should merely sit calmly in their 
offices waiting for such business as might come to them; 
as an American would say, ^Hhey go out after the busi- 
ness," and there can be no doubt that they have exercised 
a tremendous influence in exciting and perpetuating the 
movement to America. I was told on excellent authority 
of one gentleman, born in Greece of English parents, who 
in the earlier days of the movement was said by his friends 
to have made ten thousand pounds a year out of this busi- 
ness. He had agents in all parts of the kingdom, and 
even extended his operations to Turkey; he sold tickets, 
advanced money to the emigrants to pay their debts to 
the government and the expenses of the voyage, and in 
every way facilitated their passage. A few years ago he 
was complaining that the new immigration laws of the 
United States were cutting into his profits ; and he is now 
an agent for one of the principal steamship lines. The 
great harvest for the agent is now over, for the Greek 
today is too familiar with conditions in. America to be 
fooled by the old stories of dollars picked up on the street, 
and rich food to be had for the mere asking; but there is 



- /■ 


stiU plenty of money to be made out of emigrants, and will 
be as long as they keep coming. 

The emigration movement, as may be inferred from what 
has gone before, has given a great impetus to the steam- 
ship business of Greece ; it is doubtful, indeed, if a single 
direct line of steamers between Greek and American ports 
would pay expenses without the emigrant traffic. As it 
is, there are several that are doing a profitable business. 
The two Greek lines have been already mentioned. The 
most important of all lines is the Austro- American, which 
is a new Austrian company with its headquarters in 
Trieste. In 1905 it sent its first ship from the Pirieus 
to New York, via Patras, with the expectation of catching 
the currant and emigrant trade, a project which was very 
successful. The number of ships sailing" direct from 
Greece to New York was increased, and i^l908 this com- 
pany had forty-two sailings from Patras to the United 
States, of which twenty-nine were emigrant boats to New 
York, six emigrant boats to New Orleans and seven cargo 
boats to New York, Philadelphia and Boston. In the 
same year the Prince line had nine sailings and the 
Moraites line three sailings from Greece to the United 
States. Almost every important Atlantic steamship com- 
pany has an agency or connection in at least one of the 
Greek ports, and many emigrants still go to America by 
way of Naples, or even of Cherbourg or Havre. 

The situation may be briefly siunmed up as follows: 
The conditions due to the meager industrial development 
in Greece have within recent years been accentuated by 
a marked agricultural depression. This has made it very 
difiScult for the ordinary peasant to secure even, a moderate 
return for his labors. The marked rise in prices which 



for various reasons has occurred contemporaneously with 
the decline in the agricultural market, has added to the 
burdens of life until they have become very heavy. The 
Greek peasants have accordingly been led to look for some 
new field of effort where there are greater returns for 
labor, and have found it in the United States. The 
motiye; for the new emigration are practicaUy without 
exception of a financial nature, and may be concisely ex- 
pressed in the answer to his queries which one constantly 
receives from the Greeks themselves : ^'We go to America 
because we can get more money there." 



The Sources and Means of Emigration 

IF we bear in mind the causes of the new emigration 
movement from Greece as they have been outlined 
above, we will expect to find that the first sections of the 
country to respond largely to the call of America were 
those which were the most purely agricultural and the 
most circumscribed by their natural surroundings, and 
also where the people were the most hardy and adventu- 
rous. On examination of the actual conditions we find 
that this a priori conclusion is justified. The honor — ^if 
such it be — of being the cradle of Greek emigration to 
America, must be accorded to the districts of Tripolis and 
Sparta. Both are interior districts and hence mainly 
agricultural and pastoral. Both are closely hemmed in 
by mountain chains, with only a few outlets, and in the 
former district particularly the people are of a very hardy 
and energetic type. In these two sections we may find 
the pirimary springs of the great current which now draws 
its volume from so many divergent sources, though the 
greatest contingents still come from these regions. 

Tripolis the city, and the villages which are grouped 
around it lie on a broad and fertile table-land situated in 
the center of the Peloponnesus, at an elevation of about 
2,000 feet above sea level. It is surrounded by rocky and 
barren mountains, and the only means of egress is 
through a few narrow passes. The high elevation and 
invigorating climate have bred a race of people hardy in 
body, and keen, intrepid, and alert in intellect, who have 



always borne the reputation of wanderers and adventurers. 
From this demos alone it is said that 80,000 persons have 
emigrated to America, out of a total population of 
800,000 to 400,000. A more detailed description of this 
country and its people wiU be found in the chapter on the 
effects of emigration. (See page 229.) 

Sparta lies in a valley to the south of Tripolis, at a 
considerably lower elevation (785 feet). It, too, is sur- 
rounded by mountains, but its access to the sea is easier 
than that of Tripolis. Its people also are of a less admir- 
able type than those of the higher district, though both 
groups are superior to the lowland population. 

From these two centers the contagion has spread until 
today the whole Greek world may be said to be in a fever 
of emigration. From the highlands and the lowlands of 
the Morea, from Attica, Thessaly and Eubcea, from Mace- 
donia, Asia Minor and the islands, the strong young men 
with one accord are severing home ties, leaving behind 
wives and sweethearts, and thronging the shores of Amer- 
ica in search of opportunity and fortune. "America** is 
a household word in almost every Greek family. It is 
amazing to see how familiar Greeks are with conditions 
in the United States. The economic crisis of 1907 in 
this country was a topic of common conversation in the 
coffee-houses, and it was commonly attributed to the 
uncertainty attendant on the presidential election. "Now 
that Taft is elected things will be all right." The trav- 
eler was asked on every hand whether business was "open- 
ing up'* in America, "nie people understand the social 
conditions in America, and the circumstances in which 
their friends in the United States live. They know the 
hardships that the emigrants suffer from dishonest and 



tyrannical bosses, and from hard living conditions and a 
strange climate. But they also know well the opportu- 
nities for making money in the fai^away land, and every 
month thousands of them, after weighing the matter care- 
fully, take the final step and follow in the footsteps of 
their friends. And if one questions a Greek, at home, 
en route, or in America as to the causes of the emigration 
movement, the answer is almost invariably the same: 
**Yes, Greece is a beautiful country, but it is poor. It is 
all rocks and mountains. It is hard to make a living 
here. America is rich. I can make more money there. 
It is the money." That one word "money** is the keynote 
of Greek emigration. 

In considering movements of this kind it is always a 
matter of interest to determine what classes of the popu- 
lation are concerned. It is of vital interest to the United 
States whether we draw from the better classes, sound in 
mind, body and morals, or from the lower strata of society. 
In regard to this phase of the question, after what has 
gone before, it is hardly necessary to say that as far as 
the Greeks are concerned emigration to the United States 
is almost wholly an affair of the agricultural and pastoral 
classes. The reasons for this are obvious. In the first 
place the population of Greece is predominantly agricul- 
tural, and it is this class which feels most sharply the 
pressure of the unfavorable conditions of the country. A 
Greek business man of ability and some capital stands a 
much better chance of making a handsome fortune in 
some Mediterranean country thaii he does in the United 
States. As one young man remarked, "A Greek who goes * 
to the United States comes back with 5,000 or 6,000 
drachmas, while one who goes to Egypt brings back 



50,000 or 100»000 drachmas." Of late years there has 
been an increasingly large number of business and pro- 
fessional men among the Greek immigrants into America. 
The establishment of large Greek colonies in this country 
has made a demand for priests, doctors, lawyers and men 
of letters of their own race. 

But of the peasant class, do we draw the better or the 
poorer? In answer to this question we have already seen 
that the original and most abundant sources of emigra- 
tion are sections where the population is distinctly superior 
to the lowland classes. Mr. N. Grortzis in his book 
***Afupu(7i KoX *Afupucavoi^*' (p&K^ 6) says of the emigrants: 
**But whatever may be their motive, they are superior to 
the average type of their compatriots. The fact that 
they do not shrink from crossing an ocean 8,000 miles in 
extent, to seek new homes and to begin a new life in a 
world entirely new and strange to them, is enough to show 
that the spirits which animate their bodies are strong to 
take risks, to encounter the unknown, to undergo sacri- 
fices far from the surroundings in which they were bom 
and spent their childhood." (Translated.) 

The proof contained in the last part of the paragraph 
quoted seems a trifle inadequate to support so sweeping 
a statement as is made in the first sentence. It is very 
likely true that the few original emigrants from any 
country are of an adventurous, daring and energetic spirit 
and in that respect at least superior to their neighbors. 
But it does not follow that the same is true under the con- 
ditions which now prevail in Greece. Their destination 
is no longer a strange and unknown land. The conditions 
there are not new and unfamiliar. The modem Greek 
emigrant is ticketed through from his village to his final 



destination, his passage is very likely paid by some friend-* ^""^^ 
in America, he has probably just as many friends in the 
American city to which he is going as in his native village . 
and the conditions in which he finds himself in America 
are in many respects a close replica of his home surround- 
ings. He knows that if he has hard luck in finding work, 
or falls into sickness or any other form of misfortune his 
friends will care for him and send him home if necessary. 
This is the typical Greek emigrant of today, and it is hard 
to see how his undertaking is a mark of any special supe- 
riority of character. 

However, to state the matter briefly, it may be said that 
the Greek emigrating class is composed almost wholly of 
young men and men in the prime of life. (See page IIS.) 
And when they once get started from any village, they 
oQ go ! All, that is to say, who are not inadmissible under 
the immigration laws of the United States. For these 
restrictions are well understood in Greece. It is known 
that persons suffering from certain classes of diseases, the 
lame, the blind, etc., will be refused admission, and that 
America does not welcome old or enfeebled men. But as 
for the strong young men, emigration makes a clean sweep 
of them. If a peasant is asked, ^^Have many gone from 
your village to America?** the typical answer is: "Oh, yes, 
they have all gone. All the boys are in America.'* There 
are villages in Greece where a boy grows tip with just as 
much of an expectation of going to the United States as 
an American boy has of remaining here. 

The greatest agency in perpetuating and extending 
this movement is the letter from America. A graphic 
account of the operation of this force is found in the 
Report of the Commissioner-Greneral of Immigration for 



1907 (page 60) : **An influence which perhaps has not 
heretofore been accorded the recognition to which its 
importance entitles it is the better to the home folks' 
written by the alien temporarily or permanently domi- 
ciled here. These letters constitute the most extensive 
method of advertising that can be imagined ; almost innu- 
merable ^endless chains' are thus daily being forged link 
by link. A letter is written to his brother, father, or 
other relative by an alien who, after a few months' employ- 
ment here, has been able to save $150 or $200 — ^a small 
fortune in the eyes of the Italian or Hungarian peasant — 
picturing in homely but glowing terms the opportunities 
of this country for money making. That letter is read 
by or to every inhabitant of the village, or perhaps even 
passed on to other neighboring hamlets. Others are thus 
induced to migrate — selling their belongings, mortgaging 
their property, almost enslaving themselves to procure the 
amount of the passage. They come, find employment at 
what seems to them fabulous wages, write letters home; 
and so the process goes on and on, until some of the rural 
districts of such countries as Italy and Hungary are 
almost depopulated. 

"Now Greece and Turkey are becoming involved in the 

same influences This is an influence with which it 

is difficult, if not impossible, to reckon. That it is a telling, 
if not the most important, factor in the production of 
immigration there can be no doubt. The worst of it is 
that there are evidences that this endless chain letter 
scheme is seized upon by the promoters and money lenders 
to further their interests, and no opportunity lost to 
encourage both the writing and the extensive dissemina- 
tion of such missives. When this is done the line is passed 




between natural and forced immigration, and the machina- 
tions of the promoter and usurer become a menace to the 
alien directly and to the welfare of this country incident- 

Practically every Greek who starts for America has 
in his pocket a letter from some fellow countryman in 
America, or at least a business card of some Greek who 
has established himself on this side. The great majorit^^ 
have some relative or close friend here. We may go still 
further and say with safety that almost without exception 
Greek emigrants know to just what place in the United 
States they are going, and in the great majority of cases 
have a very definite idea of what work they are going to 
do when they get here. They are very chary about admit- 
ting the truth of the last statement, however, especially 
if they have the least suspicion that their questioner has 
any connection with the United States government. For 
the United States immigration laws deny admission to 
any aliens *Vho have been induced or solicited to migrate 
to this coimtry by offers or promises of employment or 
in consequence of agreements, oral, written or printed, 
express or impUed, to perform labor in this country of 
any kind, skilled or unskilled." The letter of this law is 
violated wholesale by Greek immigrants. To what extent 
the spirit also suffers it is quite impossible to say. It is 
a very easy thing for people with the craft and cleverness 
of the Greeks to cover up any illegality in a case of this 
sort. It is a common thing to see a Greek who has been 
in America for a few years returning to his fatherland for 
a few months' visit, and then going back to America, tak- 
ing with him a group of half a dozen or more of his friends 
and neighbors. It is quite beyond the realm of possi^ 



bility for any stranger to find out by what inducements 
or promises he has persuaded them to accompany him. A 
fuller discussion of the contract labor system among the 
Greeks may be found on page 186. 

In the little village of Tsipiana, tucked away among the 
rocky hills of central Greece, there was living a short time 
ago a fine young lad with a handsome ovai face, wavy 
hair, and a well-knit, sturdy frame. His name was Con- 
stantinos Panagopoulos, but the villagers called him 
Costa, and for convenience sake we will follow their 
example. Costa was the youngest child of a family of 
five, three boys and two girls. His father he had never 
known, as he had been one of those who lost their lives in 
the ill-advised Turkish war of 1897, when Costa was little 
more than a year old. The loss of the chief bread-winner 
was a hard blow for the family, whose circumstances had 
never been easy, but they all rose to the occasion and took 
up the new burdens that presented themselves. Fortu- 
nately, they owned a small plot of land just outside the 
village. Part of this was laid out in vineyard and the 
rest was given to the cultivation of wheat. The remain- 
ing property of the family consisted in a donkey and a 
few sheep. The little stone cottage in the village, too, 
belonged to them. This put them in independent circum- 
stances, and they were about as well o£P as the average of 
their fellow villagers. After the father's death, the 
remaining members of the family divided the labor of 
cultivating their little piece of ground among them. As 
soon as Costa was able to walk he used to go out with one 
of his brothers or sisters and help watch the little flock 
of sheep as they browsed on the hillside. 

But about this time there began to be a new stir, in the 



village. WeU-dressed men with flaahing dianKHidB and 
gold watches, and a fascinating air of prosperity and 
worldliness, frequently drove over from TripoKs, and sat 
about the coffee-houses of the viUage, telling strange tales 
of a glorious, far-away land called America, where money 
could almost be had for the asking, and where the build- 
ings were half a mile high, and strange carriages without 
hones ran about the streets. More than this, there was 
work there for everybody and a man could get rich in 
five years. These men said they had been there and seen 
all these things, and so it seemed that it must be so. The 
villagers used to hang around these men in open-mouthed 
wonder and Costa's two brothers were often in the group. 
One day one of the flashy strangers walked out to the 
field where the two boys were working and had a long con- 
versation with them. He asked them why they did not 
leave this dull and poor little village, where they had no 
hope of ever being better off than they were then, and go 
aipiay to America where they could very soon make a for- 
tune and provide a luxurious home for themselves and 
Iheir family. He said he had a friend in Chicago who was 
running a large establishment and who needed several boys 
to do easy work for him, and he would use his influence to 
get the boys a position with the Chicago man. His con- 
versation inspired the boys with a keen desire to get away 
to this wonderful land, and they said that if they had the 
money they would certainly go. But it reaUy was no use 
thinking of it, for they scarcely could get money enough 
together to supply the needs of the family, to say nothing 
of taking trips across the ocean. But the wonderful man 
overcame every objection. He said that he would provide 
them tickets all the way to Chicago. Of course he would 



take a mortgage on their property, just for the form's 
sake, but when they reached America they could earn 
enough in a very few months to pay that off, and have 
some laid up for tbemselveg. 

The upshot of the matter was that the boys were won 
over. They in turn persuaded their mother, and in the 
spring of 1901 they started for America. Then began a 
period of still greater hardship for those who were left. 
The entire burden of cultivating the field fell on the mother 
and the two girls, while Costa had to spend all his days 
watching the sheep. After a couple of months letters 
began to come from the boys. They were full of dis- 
appointment. The "establishment" was a small shoe- 
shining parlor where they had to work fifteen or sixteen 
hours a day, at wages so small that only by dint of the 
strictest economy and cruel self-denial could they save 
even the smallest sums weekly. Moreover, they learned 
that they had been grievously overcharged for their 
tickets, but the mortgage was in writing and the interest 
must be paid promptly, whatever befell. 

But as the years went by things began to look brighter. 

First the boys wrote that they were getting better wages, 

and were able to begin to make payments on the principal 

of the mortgage. Then one day came a letter bringing 

with it enough money to pay off the entire balance of the 

heavy debt. What a day of rejoicing that was! From 

mt prosperously. In a short time 

ley had bought a little candy store 

isinesH for themselves. For a while 

rought less money than before, but 

m the sums of money which came 

began to assume proportions that 


seemed fabulous. These were laid by, until the total was 
sufBcient to pay for the erection of a fine new house, almost 
the best one in the village. 

Thus Costa grew up with his eyes turned toward Amer- 
ica. His brothers were not the only ones who had gone 
to that wonderful land. Every year the number of vil- 
lagers who left for the United States increased, until by 
the time Costa was about thirteen there were hardly any 
young men left in the village. With the dowry provided 
by the boys in America the elder daughter had been mar- 
ried. Her husband, too, had left very soon for America 
but he promised to send for her soon and she was waiting 
in patience. The younger daughter, though she too had 
a good dowry, was still unmarried — ^there were so few men 
in the village. 

At last early in the year 1909, Costa received a letter 
from his elder brother. It contained several strange- 
looking slips of paper, fastened together, and read some- 
thing like this : 

Chicago, Ills., Dec. 28, 1908. 
Dear Costa: 

The time we have been so long expecting has at last arrived. 
Our business has reached the point where we need another 
helper, and we want yon to come over and help us. I enclose 
a complete ticket from Tripolis to Chicago, all paid for. All 
you have to do is to. show it to the men as you go along. Have 
dear mother give yon a written paper showing that you have 
her permission to come, as you are not yet sixteen. We will 
pay you the same wages as we would pay any other clerk. 
Take the greatest care of yourself, dear Costa, and come 
quickly. Kiss my beloved mother and sisters for me. I kiss 
you on the two eyes. 

Your affectionate brother. 



Needless to say this missive caused great excitement and 
joy in the boy's heart. The steamship ticket was for a 
third-class passage on a big ship sailing from Patras early 
in March — ^the favorite ship for Greek immigrants, as 
Costa well knew from having heard it talked of often by 
the group in the coffee-house. 

His preparations for the voyage were simple and were 
soon made. His few clothes were packed into a new tele- 
scope which he purchased in Tripolis. He took a fine, 
large woolen rug, which his mother had made, for his pro- 
tection on the voyage. In a small basket he carried some 
bread and cheese, a number of oranges, and a good-sized 
bottle of wine. He understood that food was furnished 
on the ship, but it might not be good, and anyway it was 
just as well to be on the safe side. Quite a number of the 
other young men and boys of the village, and one or two 
older men, were going on the same steamer, and the party 
made quite a little cavalcade as they started out to walk 
to Tripolis, where they were to take the train, their goods 
loaded on donkeys which trotted along ahead of them. 
This kept Costa from feeling as lonesome as he otherwise 
would have, and the excitement of the coming voyage 
almost drowned the feeling of homesickness that tried to 
rise in his bosom as he kissed his mother and sisters good- 

The trip to Patras was uneventful. The trains were 
full of people talking about America. Some of the pas- 
sengers had been there before — ^you could tell them by their 
queer, flat, square-cornered valises, their different clothes, 
and their easy, prosperous appearance. They reached 
Patras on Saturday evening, and put up at one of the 
many cheap hotels in which the city abounds. In the 



morning, Costa went with the others to the steamship 
office to see what he needed to do. First of all, they took 
his name, age, and the name of his village, and measured 
his height, and noted the color of his hair and eyes, and 
asked him whether he had ever been in prison. All these 
things and more, were put down on a piece of paper. 
Then they told him that he must bring his baggage around 
to their warehouse and deposit it to be disinfected. Then 
there would be nothing to do until the day of sailing, when 
he must come around for the inspection. So Costa at once 
went around to the hotel and got his big valise and carried 
it on his shoulders to the warehouse where it was deposited 
on a shelf along with many others. The man in charge 
pasted a red piece of paper on the end of it and gave 
Costa the duplicate, telling him to keep it with all care. 
Costa spent the rest of the day strolling around the city, 
watching the novel sights of the seaport, strange to the 
eyes of the inland boy, and using up a part of the money 
that his mother had given him to carry in his pocket, in 
purchasing from some of the push-cart men, who thronged 
the streets around the steamship office, some little things 
that he thought he miffht not be able to buy satisfactorily 
in America — a key-ring and chain, som^^ socks, a^pair of 
scissors and a little mirror and comb in a leather case, in 
the interest of his budding mustache. He gave the gam- 
bling games a wide berth, having received some wholesome 
instructions on this point from his mother before he left. 
He stopped for a moment to watch a street dentist who 
was operating in a carriage on one of the street comers 
in the midst of a large crowd, but the sight did not please 
him *and he passed on. 



The next morning he was up bright and early so as not 
to get left. The ship had not come in yet and so he wan- 
dered around, not getting far away from the steamship 
office which was the headquarters of all his friends. When 
noon came and the ship had not arrived there was a 
good deal of anxiety among the prospective passengers. 
Finally an announcement was made from the steamship 
office that the boat would not be in until about five o'clock 
the next morning, and that if they would all come around 
at six o'clock that evening they would be given two 
drachmas each to pay for their lodging that night. Costa 
scarce dared leave the office all that afternoon for fear he 
should not be there when the distribution took place. 

He was up bright and early the next morning and was 
standing on the end of the pier when the great ship sailed 
in. She seemed to Costa the biggest thing he had ever 
seen. When he could tear himself away from looking at 
her he went around to the office to be inspected. He 
found a great throng gathered around the door. Men 
were being allowed to enter slowly, but it seemed as if there 
was no chance that he would ever be able to get in. He 
noticed a number of men counting over American money, 
which he recognized at once as he had often seen his mother 
take it out from the letters from America. This reminded 
him that he had not yet changed his own money and he 
ran off at once to do it. But he met with considerable 
difficulty. The first four money changers that he went 
to said that their American money was all gone. But 
finally he found one who had two five dollar bills and ten 
ones, which was just what Costa needed. So he went back 
to the office, much relieved. It was now getting along 
towards noon, and the crowd had thinned out somewhat. 



The boat was scheduled to sail at five and so Costa thought 
that he had plenty of time. 

Outside of the office was a sort of gate which a man 
opened every little while and allowed fifty passengers to 
come inside. Costa waited his turn and by and by was 
admitted within the gate. He found himself in the end 
of a narrow alley-way, enclosed by an iron railings down 
which the emigrants were moving in single file. Just 
ahead of him was a man of about thirty-five whom he rec- 
ognized as one of the men who had been in America. This 
man took charge of him and explained the different occur- 
rences as they went along. First of all they came to a 
man who examined their money and their tickets. Costa 
showed his twenty dollars and was allowed to pass, but 
the boy just behind him, who had only twelve dollars, was 
sent back, with the brusque query, ^^Can't you find some- 
body to give you a little more than that? " Ahead of 
him he saw the men rolling up their right sleeves to the 
elbow and so he rolled up his. Almost before he knew it a 
man seized his hand and held it while he dipped a little 
steel needle in a sort of liquid in a glass watch crystal, and 
then scratched his arm with it. He asked his guide what 
that was for and was told that it was vaccination, to keep 
him from having the smallpox. In another part of the 
room he saw a few women being examined. They had been 
allowed to come in out of the regular order so that they 
might not have to wait. There were very few wAmen in 
the crowd. Costa passed along the alley until near the 
end he saw another big man standing. He asked his guide 
who that was, and was told: **That is the doctor. The 
company pays him to examine all their passengers and see 
if they will be allowed to enter America, for if they bring 



over any who are not admissible they must not only bring 
them back free, but must pay a fine of $100 for each one.*' 

By this time Costa was under the doctor's hands. He 
turned up his eyelids, examined his scalp, and felt of his 
abdomen to see if he had hernia, so the man ahead told him. 

The doctor found Costa sound and he was allowed to 
pass on. Behind a desk sat a couple of men. One of 
them took Costa's ticket and stamped ^^Vaccinated" on 
it; the other took him by the wrist and stamped a little 
triangular mark on it, telling him that that showed that 
he had been through, and was all ready to start for Amer- 
ica. Just as Costa was about to leave the room he heard 
the doctor say ^^Respinto" and saw a look of disappoint- 
ment pass over the face of the man he had just examined. 

*^What does ^Respinto' mean? " Costa asked his friend. 

**That means that the man appears to have some dis- 
ease, probably trachoma, and that he must wait and have 
a special examination, and perhaps will not be allowed to 
go to America at all." 

'^Do many have to go back that way? " asked Costa. 

"Not very many," replied his friend. **You see, the 
agents in the villages examine them before they send them 
down here, and most of those who could not be admitted 
to America are stopped there. The agent of this com- 
pany says that they only have twelve or fifteen cases, out 
of a shipload of passengers, whom they will not take, and 
only two or three from each ship are sent back from 

By this time Costa was outside. He went around to 
the warehouse, which smelt strongly of sulphur fumes, 
presented his slip of paper and got his valise. As he 
stepped outside, however, and started for the pier, he sud- 



denly gave a cry of consternation, dropped his valise, and 
stood stock still. There was the great ship sailing down 
the bay! The tears sprang to his eyes. So he was left 
after all! Oh, why hadn't he taken pains to get around 
earlier? Slowly he picked up his bag and walked down 
towards the pier, simply because he did not know what else 
to do. But look ! She seems to be turning around. Yes, 
she is, she is coming back. Costa hurried on down to the 
pier and, seeing some one whom he knew, he asked what 
the matter was. He was told that a sudden squall had 
come up and that the ship had pulled up one of the moor- 
ing posts, and had to put out into the bay to keep from 
blowing on to the other ships in the harbor. Costa was 
much relieved, and waited patiently until two or three 
hours later the ship came back inside the breakwater once 
more. Then he got into one of the small boats, provided 
by the company and flying their flag, and was carried out 
to the gangway of the big ship. Shouldering his valise 
once more he climbed up to the top. There stood a man 
in uniform who examined his tickets and searched his 
clothes for knives or firearms. The next moment he was 
on the deck of the ship. He followed the crowd down the 
narrow stairway into the body of the ship, where he was 
assigned a bunk. He deposited his baggage on the mat- 
tress, which was the only bedding there, and went up on 
deck. As he had eaten nothing since morning he was very 
glad when he saw a steward coming with a big pail of stew 
and some tin plates. After he had eaten he stood about 
the deck, watching the trunks and boxes being loaded and 
all the other fascinating sights attendant upon the de- 
parture of a big ship. One man who looked different from 
the Greeks and seemed to be a person of some importance, 



attracted his attention. On inquiry, he learned that this 
was the American consul, who had come on board to see 
that everything was all right. At Iflist, about nine o'clock, 
the big whistle blew, the big ship began to move, slowly at 
first and then faster and faster, and Costa realized that 
he was really started for America. 

The first day out was very rough, and Costa spent the 
whole of it in his bunk, wretchedly seasick. Practically 
all of the other passengers around him as far he could see 
were in the same condition, some a little better, some worse. 
Costa's bunk was near the stem of the ship and it seemed 
to him that he was rising and falling hundreds of feet at 
a jump. Every once in a while there came a horrid 
whirring and trembling which some one told him was the 
propellers going out of the water. The air became vile, 
and the steel floors filthy. Occasionally a ship's boy came 
around with a pail of sawdust, but that helped little. 
Altogether, it was a miserable day, and Costa wished more 
than once that he had never heard of America. 

Late in the evening, however, the ship seemed to quiet 
down, and before he knew it Costa ^€is sound asleep. 
When he woke in the morning, the sea was as smooth as 
glass and the deck of the ship was as steady as the floor 
of the new house in his own little village. Costa found him- 
self feeling as fine as ever, and put in the day examining 
the ship. He was an attractive little lad, and was allowed 
to go where many others would not have been. Before 
the day was over he had become well acquainted with one 
of the Greek seamen on board, who took a great fancy to 
the little chap and spent a good deal of his leisure time 
talking with him, and even allowed him to accompany him 
on some of his duties. Costa thus acquired many inter- 



esting facts about the ship and its passengers. ,'1\)e ship 
had begun her voyage at Trieste, and there wereqiEjioard 
900 Slay passengers in the third class, in addition .tblthe 
thousand Greeks who had got on board at Patrcis. Tlie* 
Slavs were mostly in the forward part of the ship, wftl^,*, 
the Greeks were in the rear and central portions. Th<f]'. 
few women on board were in the best part of the ship near *' 
the center. The whole available space on two of the lower 
decks of the ship was given up to bunks. This part of 
the ship was filled with a sort of scaffolding or framework 
of iron pipes, so constructed as to provide two tiers of 
sleeping places, one above the other, with just room enough 
for aisles so that the passengers could get to their bunks. 
There were no springs and the hard mattresses were laid 
on a sort of lattice of steel straps. Still, Costa was not 
used to springs and he did not mind this any. One day 
he took a little tape measure which he had in his pocket — 
one of his purchases from a push-cart man in Patras — 
and measured his bunk. He found that it was six feet one 
inch by two feet one inch. The edge of his bunk was 
eighteen inches above the floor. There was a space of 
twenty-eight inches between his bunk and the one above it, 
and then forty inches more up to the roof. This gave 
Costa plenty of room, and even the larger men were not 
badly crowded. The only difficulty was that each pas- 
senger had to make room in his own bunk for his baggage. 
Many of the men hung theirs up, tying them to the pipes 
of which the scaffolding was made. Every bunk in the 
ship was occupied, and they had even spread mattresses 
on some of the closed hatchways, and men were sleeping 

On the whole, as soon as his seasickness was over, Costa 


» . • 


felt vc^. comfortable and happy. He spent a good share 
of his iijne on one of the decks which were reserved for the 
thb*d*< class passengers. Occasionally he would go and 
-sjt for a while in the **recreation room," where most of the 
-^ p%6sengers spent their time. But this was always crowded 
''./';and the benches which ran alongside the long tables were 
'.'*' always packed with men, talking and playing cards. The 
room was full of tobacco smoke and very noisy, and Costa 
did not particularly enjoy it. There were a number of 
the passengers who scarcely left their bunks from one day's 
end to another, but just lay there in a sort of stupor. 
Only a few took advantage of the pleasant outside decks, 
except on two occasions when the ship stopped in some of 
the Mediterranean ports for a few hours. Then every- 
body thronged on deck, and spent the time dancing, sing- 
ing and playing games. Several of the passengers had 
musical instruments with them, and Costa used to love to 
hear them play and watch the men dance, though of course 
he was too young to be allowed to join in. 

Costa had been unusually well trained in matters of 
cleanliness, for a Greek boy, and he was disgusted with 
the slovenly habits of some of his fellow passengers. He 
used to smile to himself when he heard them complaining 
that it was not a good ship because it smelled so bad, for 
even he had sense enough to know that it was largely their 
own fault. He did his best to keep himself clean, though 
there was no great opportunity to do so. But the smell 
of the toilet rooms was awful, and Costa dreaded to go 
past them, as he had to every time he went from his bunk 
to the deck. 

Another thing that amused Costa was to hear the men 
complaining about the food, for he knew that the majority 


• * • 

• • •  

'•• • 

• . • 

• • 

'• _• 


of them at home lived on bread and olives and cheese. He 
rather smiled at himself when he thought of the little basket 
of food that he had brought with him, though he was glad 
that he had the oranges. But on the whole, the food was 
quite as good as he had been used to, even after the days 
of prosperity began. Here is his bill of fare for a week : 

Monday: Breakfast, Stew, coffee, bread 

Dinner, Pea soup, meat with potatoes 

Supper, Crackers, stock-fish with potatoes 
Tuesday: Breakfast, Cheese, coffee, bread 

Dinner^ Macaroni soap, stewed peas 

Supper, Meat with potatoes, walnuts 
Wednesday: Breakfast, Prmies, tea, bread 

Dinner, Stew, oliyes, cheese 

Supper, Stock-fish with potatoes 
Thursday: Breakfast, Sausages^ coffee^ bread 

Dinner, Rice with oil^ boiled meat 

Supper, Spaghetti in broth, meat with potatoes 
Friday: Breakfast^ Tunny, tea^ bread 

Dinner, Pastry in broth^ meat with olives 

Supper^ Ragout of meat with potatoes 
Saturday: Breakfast, Herrings, coffee, bread 

Dinner, Rice, meat with beans 

Supper, Macaroni in broth, meat with cabbage 
Sunday: Breakfast, Cheese, tea, bread 

Dinner, Bean soup, sardines in olive oil 

Supper, Rice with meat, tunny with potatoes 

There were two good clean kitchens for the third class, 
one toward the bow and one toward the stem. The cook- 
ing was good, and Costa kept in first-rate health. 

The voyage was in the main uneventful. Most of the 
men still spent their time below deck, either in the recrea- 
tion room, or in their bunks. Some read, many played 



cards, all talked. Those who had been in America before 
were besieged with questions in regard to the landing, the 
possibility of being rejected, the climate in America, the 
probable date of arrival, etc. A few who knew a little 
English borrowed American magazines from the first-class 
passengers who occasionally came down to the lower deck. 
Most of the men, however, spent a good share of their time 
lying or sitting around in a sort of semi-stupor, appar- 
ently indifferent to the length of the voyage and almost 
everything else except their food. 

But about the tenth day out Costa found himself grow- 
ing restless and impatient. The novelty of the sea had 
worn off and he was getting anxious to see land and most 
of all to reach his brothers whom he had not seen for so 
long. The monotony was broken for him in a way he 
would hardly have desired. One rather rough day he was 
descending one of the slippery iron stairways when the 
ship gave a sudden lurch. Costa lost his hold on the rail- 
ing and was thrown violently to the deck beneath. The 
next thing he knew he found himself lying between two 
clean sheets in a nicely painted room, with a man in uni- 
form bending over him, whom he recognized as the ship's 
doctor. He soon learned that he was in the third-class 
hospital, and it was so clean and nice that he almost wished 
that he could stay there until the end of the voyage. 
There were about fifteen other men in the room. Costa 
was told that there was another hospital just like it for 
the women on the other side of the ship. 

His injury proved to be only a temporary one, and the 
next day he was on deck again as well as ever. He 
learned that he had missed one rather interesting occur- 
rence. The day before, all the third-class passengers had 



been made to pass in single iSIe before the purser while 
their tickets were examined. Those -who had been passed 
£^t a good deal of amusement poking fun at the others as 
they came along. One miserable stowaway had been 
found, half-starved, in one of the coal bunkers. 

The remainder of the voyage passed without event and 
Costa was more than glad when early one morning his 
sailor friend pointed out a misty spot of something way 
ahead on the horizon and told him that that was America. 
The ship reached its dock about the middle of the after- 
noon. Costa, along with the other third-class passengers, 
was hurried onto a steam barge which lay waiting and 
carried across the bay to Ellis Island, about which he had 
heard so much from the men on the ship. The numerous 
iron-railed alleyways through which he had to pass re- 
minded him of the steamship office in Patras, only every- 
thing here was so much grander and on an infinitely larger 
scale. He answered all the questions asked him bravely 
and truthfully, and in an incredibly short time found him- 
self standing once more on the deck of a barge, on his way 
back to the city, which loomed so wonderful and magnifi- 
cent and fascinating in the distance. His railroad ticket 
was pinned to his coat lapel, and he was in a group of 
about fifteen other Greeks, all bound for Chicago. He 
followed their guidance, and the next thing he knew he 
was in a railroad car that seemed to him immense, and was 
whirling away through the darkness toward the great 
western city where his brothers were awaiting him. 
Everybody had been kind to him, and while as yet every- 
thing seemed terribly confused, and his mind was in a sort 
of daze, he felt that America was an even better country 
then he had hoped for, and he was well content to be here. 




Statistical Review 

UP to the last decade of the nineteenth century Oreek 
immigration into the United States was not of 
sufficient volume to be called a movement. (See Table 6.) 
Not until 1891 did the figures reach 1,000, and during the 
nineties they did not rise above S,600. But with the 
beginning of the present century, for the reasons enumer- 
ated in the preceding pages, this current of immigration 
began to increase by leaps and bounds. For the three 
consecutive years, 1905-06-07, it approximately doubled 
annually, reaching in the last year the climax of 46,283. 
It is impossible to say how long this ratio of increase would 
have maintained itself had not the crisis of 1907 inter- 
vened to check it. As it was, Greek immigration for the 
fiscal year ending June SO, 1908, fell to 28,808, a decrease 
of 41 per cent from the preceding year, as compared with 
a decrease of 89 per cent of the total immigration to this 
country for that year. This slackness continued during 
the winter of 1908-09. But with the reviving of trade in 
the United States, the emigration movement took on a new 
lease of life and the spring of 1909 bade fair to be the live- 
liest in the emigration business from Greece since the incep- 
tion of the movement. On the first two days of March, 
1909, two ships of a certain steamship line carried from 
Patras 1,600 Greek emigrants bound for New York.* 

'This promise was not yerifled for the whole year 1900, nor has 
the record of 1907 been quite reached even in 1910. 



The figures referred to give only the number of Greek 
immigrants admitted to this country in the respectiye 
years. To gain an accurate idea of the number of Greeks 
in this country in any year it is necessary also to know 
the number who have returned to their homes from year 
to year. This, unfortunately, it is impossible to deter- 
mine. Only within the last three years have the reports 
of the Commissioner-General of Immigration given the 
necessary data. The steamship companies keep no 
records of the number of steerage passengers whom they 
bring back to Greece. Even if they did, these figures 
would be inconclusive, for the returning Greeks come in 
driblets, half a dozen or a score at a time, and by a great 
variety of routes. They come by direct lines to Patras 
and the Piraeus; they come by way of Naples, or across 
France, or through Switzerland and Italy, or even by way 
of Grermany. It is difficult to get a steamship agent even 
to make an estimate of the proportion between the depart- 
ing and returning emigrants. Mr. Horton's reports state 
that from the best sources available, not over 1,500 returns 
may be set down as the figure for the year 1907. The 
Commissioner-Greneral's report for 1908 gives the number 
of departures during that year as 6,76S. But this was 
an exceptional year. From the number of Greeks one 
meets in Greece who have been in the United States the 
number of returns must be considerable. Perhaps the 
ratio of one tenth of the admissions of a given year comes 
as near expressing the number of returns as any we could 
hope to get. Adopting this ratio, and applying it to the 
figures given in the table, the Greek population of the 
United States for the last ten years would be approxi- 
mately as foUows: 



1900 8,656 

1901 13,983 

1909 91387 

1903 34,996 

1904 45^88 

1906 66^19 

1906 77,334 

1907 118,989 

1908 141,034 

1909 164,369 

1910 184,907 

The tendency for Oreeks is usually to over-estimate the 
niunber of their countrymen in the United States. As 
much as two years ago, some said ISO^OOO; others put the 
figure at S00,000 or even SOO^OOO. An interesting basis of 
comparison may be found in two books, to which we will 
have frequent occasion to refer. They are the Thermopylae 
Almanac, 1904, by John Booras, and the Greek- American 
Guide, 1909, by S. G. Canoutas, both printed in Greek and 
published in New York City. They contain a variety of 
information, statistical and otherwise, of interest to the 
actual or prospective Greek resident of the United States. 
The former volume (see Table 8) gives the Greek popula- 
tion of the United States for the year 1904 as 67,241. Of 
these, 43,609 (through a mistake in addition the figure in 
the book is 48,241) are assigned to various cities and 
states. The balance are said to be working on various rail- 
roads and in factories. This balance is doubtless much 
over-estimated. Cutting it down radically will bring this 
estimate within the neighborhood of the figure given above. 
The Greek- American Guide (page S6) estimates the num- 
ber of Greeks in the United States at 150,000, but in a 
short article in English on a later page (page S67) among 
other shocking inaccuracies the statement is made that 



*Hhe total number of Greeks throughout the United States 
is coDserratiTely estimated at a quarter of a million." It 
is only justice to saj that this short English article is the 
only part of the book that contains such glaiing absurd- 
ities. The rest of the volume appears to be carefully 
compiled and soberly written. For the year 1909, 160,000 
would probably come very near to the number of Greeks 
in the United States. 

Tables 9, 10, 11 and 1ft give a sort of statistical picture 
of the condition of Greek immigrants on their arrival in 
America, from the point of view of the immigration 
authorities. Several striking features attract the atten- 
tion at once. Perhaps the most remarkable of these is the 
very high proportion of males, ranging with surprising 
constancy around 96 per cent. This means that Greek 
immigration is not in any sense an inunigration of families, 
but almost entirely of unmarried men, or of men of family 
who have left their wives on the other side. There is no 
means of determining how these two classes compare in 
numbers, but it is probable that they are approximately 
equaL This high proportion of males is a very important 
fact, and is accountable for many of the unfortunate con- 
ditions that affect Greek society in this country. There is 
a slight improvement in this respect in the last three years, 
though the decrease may be partly due to the industrial 
situation in this country. Greek women who come to 
for the most part to join husbands who 
themselves in business on this side. Hence 
I are not so much affected by depressed 
tions as those of the men whose living is 
leir finding work. For purposes of corn- 
lowing percentages are given for some of 

l# •* w 

• • - - * 


tlie other leading races of immigrants, chosen from the 
year 1907 in preference to 1908, as being a more normal 

PsmcBKTAOB or Maixm, 1907. 

Gennans . *. 60.4 

Hebrews 53.9 

Italians (north) 79.4 

Italians (south) 78.7 

Scandinavians 63.9 

Bulgarians, Servians, Montenegrins 97.9 

From these figures, and similar ones not quoted for 
other races, it is evident that while aU the more recently 
immigrating races show a considerable preponderance of 
males, there is none of the leading peoples that even 
approaches the Greeks in this respect with the exception 
of the Bulgarians, Servians and Montenegrins, by whom 
they are exceeded. 

Another striking fact about the Greek immigrants, in 
which, however, they resemble other recently immigrating 
races, is the very large proportion in the middle agev. 
groups, between fourteen and forty-five. This includes 
nearly the entire body of Greeks. Of the small remainder, 
the greater part are children under fourteen yeard of age. 
Their number averaged a little less than 10 per cent of 
the total, until 190S, when there was a sudden decrease. 
This is a decidedly large proportion of children when we 
consider that there is practically no family emigration. 
They are for the most part boys imported under the 
padrone system (see page 172) and the sharp decline in 
1904 probably represents the strenuous efforts of the 
government officials to check this practice. Greek immi- 



grants of fortj-fire and ofrer are a negligible quantitj. 
Like the tex distribation, the age distribation has an 
important bearing on several phases of Greek life in this 

Whether the literacy or illiteracy of a group of immi- 
grants is a matter of importance or not depends <m one's 
conception of the function of the immigrant in this 
country. If we adopt the idea, which is probably the pre- 
vailing one in the United States, that the business of the 
immigrant is to do the hard and menial work of the 
country which is beneath the dignity of a native Ameri- 
can, then perhaps the more dull, stolid and devoid of 
ambition or culture the foreigners are, the better it will 
be, provided only they have sturdy bodies and humble 
spirits. In fact, under our present system — or lack of 
system — of handling the immigrants, the class of aliens 
which has the hardest time to get along comprises those 
of a moderate education, clerks, bookkeepers, mediocre 
musicians and the like, who are unable or unwilling to do 
the hard work of the country, and are unable to meet the 
competition of native Americans in the lines of occupation 
to which they have been trained in foreign countries. But 
if we hope to make true American citizens of the new- 
comers, to imbue them with the ideals and spirit of this 
country, to fit them to take an active place in the higher 
and varied departments of our national life, it cannot be 
denied that those who have had the ability, the energy 
and the opportunity to secure a moderate amount of 
education in their home land make better material for our 
purposes than the opposite class. At least, the degree 
of illiteracy of a people is usually taken as an indication 
of their intellectual quality, and often of their desirability 



as citizens, and for this reason it may be of profit to make 
some comparisons in this respect between the Greeks and 
a few other typical nationalities. A glance at Table 9 
win show that in 1900 the percentage of Greek immi- 
grants who could neither read nor write was about 16.S. 
In the next year it suddenly sprang to 2S.69 the following i 
year to 27.4, when it fell off again and remained in the ' 
neighborhood of 23 until 1907 when there was another 
sudden rise to SO.O and in 1908, 27.6. Comparing this 
with five of the other leading races, we find that the total 
percentage of illiteracy for aU the immigrants of those 
nationalities, for the years 1900-08 inclusive, was as fol- 
lows: Grermans, 4.2 per cent; Hebrews, 19.4 per cent; 
North Italians, 10.4 per cent; South Italians, 49.7 per 
cent ; Scandinavians, 0.4 per cent. It is thus evident that 
while the Greeks are much superior to the South Italians, 
they are decidedly Inferior to the northern races, and to 
the Hebrews. We are inclined to believe that there was 
a good deal of truth in the statement of the old Greek 
that the compulsory education law in Greece is ^^not 
always applied." 

Mr. Prescott F. Hall in his book on ^^Immigration'' 
gives a good deal of space to the discussion of the illit- 
eracy test as a proposed measure of legislation. Whether 
or not such a restriction is desirable is, as we have inferred 
above, largely a matter of individual opinion. There can 
be no doubt that it would have considerable effectiveness 
in cutting down the mere bulk of immigration, if that is 
an end to be sought. 

The matter of the amount of money shown is of com* 
paratively small importance. Immigrants as a rule show 
only so much money as they think is necessary to get them 



through. Table 10 is presented only as a matter of 
incidental interest, and not as furnishing any particular 
criterion of the financial status of Greek immigrants on 
their arrival. 

The figures showing the number of immigrants who have 
been in the United States before are of much greater 
interest. If the ratio of returns which we have adopted 
above (see page 110) is correct, it becomes evident that 
the number of Greeks who return to their native land to 
remain permanently is very small indeed. 

Table 11 gives the number of Greek immigrants 
debarred, with the reasons therefor, the number relieved 
in the hospital, and the number returned after one, two 
or three years under the various provisions of the law. 
We see that the per cent of debarred for the nine years 
ranges between the minimum of 1.0 per cent in 1905S, and 
4.S per cent in the succeeding year. Comparing these 
percentages with the per cent of the total immigration 
debarred, given in the same table, we see that the per- 
centage of Greeks debarred is much above the average — 
from two to five times as great. If we compare them 
with the five nationalities which have been chosen as a 
basis of comparison, we find them considerably inferior 
to each, even to the South Italians. The percentages 
of debarred for these nationalities for the nine-year 
period, 1900-1908, are as follows : Grermans, 0.7 per cent ; 
Hebrews, 0.9 per cent ; North Italians, 0.6 per cent ; South 
Italians, 1.8 per cent; Scandinavians, 0.2 per cent. The 
principal causes of debarment for the Greeks were pauper- 
ism or likelihood to become a public charge, loathsome or 
dangerous contagious diseases, and contract labor, the 
first class being the most important for all the years of 



the span except 1906, when it was surpassed by contract 

As far as the eyidence of these statistics goes there 
seems to have been a steady decline in the quality of Greek 
immigration during the nine years in question. This is 
what might be expected from the considerations dis~ 
cussed on page 86. 

This indication is sustained by the figures for the 
general classification by industries, which are given in 
Table 12. Here there is an almost steady increase in the 
proportion of unskilled, from 66 per cent in 1900 to 91 
per cent in 1907, with a slight drop to 87 per cent in 1908. 
The proportion of laborers has steadily gained over the 
farm laborers. It seems probable, however, that this 
should be taken as an indication that the Greeks are 
learning to answer these questions with reference to the 
work they expect to do in this country, rather than that 
there is any difference in the sources from which they 
come. Greek immigrants still come almost entirely from 
the peasant or agricultural class. 

The Greeks are a decidedly gregarious and clannish 
lot, and tend to herd together. This fact, in connection ! 
with their occupations, tends to lead them into city life. 
According to the census of 1900, out of the 8,564 Greeks 
in continental United States, 6,840, or 74.2 per cent, 
were in cities of 26,000 or over. This is a much larger 
proportion than for the total foreign-born in this country, 
of whom 47.8 per cent were in cities of 25,000 or over in 
1900. It is also a larger percentage than for any single 
one of the leading foreign-bom nationalities, the nearest 
approach to it being in the case of those bom in Russia 
(mostly Jews), of whom 78.4 per cent were in cities of 



the specified size. Over half of the Greeks in the United 
States in 1900 (4,770) were in seven dties, Boston, 
Chicago, Lowell, New York, Phihidelphia, San Francisco 
and Savannah, and nearly half (4,005) in the three cities 
of Chicago, Lowell and New York. This concentration 
is not so marked at present. 

On the other hand, also, the Greeks do not tend to 
stagnate in the Atlantic coast states as much as some of 
the other nationalities, particularly the Italians. Chicago 
has always been one of ^ the most important Greek settle- 
ments. Now they are becoming scattered throughout 
the cities in all the states of the Union, and individuals 
* are continually breaking away from the group and set- 
tling in the smaller cities and towns, so that today it is 
almost the exception to find even a small town that does 
not have its representatives of t)|^s race. We have esti- 
mated (see page 111) that in 1904 there were 45,689 
irreeks in this country. Of these, according to Table 
8, coi]9.piled from (the Thermopylae Almanac, 43,607 were 
i ip ttf% cities in forty-nine states and territories. As 
remarked above, these figures are probably all somewhat 
exaggerated, but they are as near accurate as we could 
hope to get. Table 18, copied from the Greek-American 
Guide for 1909, gives the number of Greeks in the prin- 
cipal cities of the United States. (G.-A. Guide, page 859.) 

On account of the fact already mentioned, that practi- 
cally every Greek immigrant knows, before he starts, just 
what place in America he is going to, the statistics in 
regard to the destination of Greek immigrants are more 
varied and at the same time more reliable than those for 
many other nationalities. They are presented in Table 
14. The interesting thing about these figures is the way 



in whicdi the immigration to several of the states, such 
as New Hampshire and Wisconsin, started only a few 
years ago with practically nothing, and has grown to a 
▼ery considerable stream. This shows the effects of the 
^^chain-letter" system, particularly in the case of New 
Hampshire, where the Greeks are very largely congre- 
gated in the one city of Manchester. 

From the foregoing statistical study it appears that 
the Greeks are remarkable in several respects, namely, in 
the hij^ proportion of males, reaching almost 100 per 
cent; in the very large proportion in the middle age 
groups; in the number of boys under fourteen; in the 
percentage debarred and in the decided tendency to city 
life. All of these factors have an important bearing on 
their economic and social condition in this country, to the 
study of which we now proceed. 



Greek Colonies in the United States 

BEFORE undertaking the discussion of the life of the 
Greeks in the United States, it will be helpful to give 
a brief description of what is known as the ^^Greek Ortho- 
dox Community." The extreme loyalty of the modem 
Greek to the formal worship of the national church has 
already been noticed. As soon as a few Greeks get 
together in some city or town in this country, one of the 
first things that they think of is the establishment of a 
place of worship. This is accomplished by the organiza- 
tion of an orthodox community, which is not usually under- 
taken until the number of Greeks in the locality reaches 
800 or 400. This community is organized as a society 
'^ '^and usually embraces practically all of the Greeks in the 
locality. It has its officers, president, secretary, treas- 
urer, etc., and various committees. The dues are some- 
times regular and sometimes voluntary. Ydiile the 
primary purposes of this organization are religious, such 
as the securing and support of a priest, and the mainte- 
nance of a place of worship, it also serves various social 
and fraternal ends. To avoid confusion, the word *^com- 
munity" hereafter will be used to designate such an organi- 
zation, while a mere aggregation of a number of Greeks 
in any locality will be termed a "colony.'* Owing to the 
prevalence of these communities, combined with the general 
clannishness of the Greeks, it is possible to get very accu- 
rate and detailed data along certain lines, regarding the 



Greeks in this country. The presidents and secretaries 
of these organizations are usually well informed as to the 
number and occupations of the members of their communi* 
ties, and the information which they will furnish in regard 
to these points is more accurate than the investigator 
could hope to obtain in any other way. In regard to 
certain other classes of information, however, their state- 
ments must be taken with a good^ deal of caution, for as a 
rule they are unwilling to make any statements wbift^ will 
tend to cast discredit on their countrymen. Some of 
these communities are incorporated under state laws. 

Within the last two or three years, as a result of the 
efforts of the Greek ambassador, Mr. Coromilas, there has 
been organized a national community, called the Pan* 
HeUenic Union, combining, or supposed to combine, all 
the societies in the United States. Among the purposes 
of this organization as stated in its constitution are the 
following: the defense of Greek interests and rights among 
foreign nations, the ^^establishment of Phil-Hellenism in 
America"( !), and the teaching of all Greeks how to 
respect the laws and constitution of the United States and 
to learn lessons from this great country and bring benefit 
to themselves. It is said that half the dues collected by 
this organization are to be used in helping Greek immi- 
grants to get started in this country and the other half 
in assisting the oppressed Greeks in Macedonia. This 
national organization has by no means met with the 
unanimous approval of the Greeks of this country, partly 
because they regard it as an infringement on that per- 
sonal liberty which they regard as an essential of Ameri- 
can life, and partly because the ambassador is not held 
in the highest esteem by some of the most intelligent citi- 



zens of that country which, as one of them said, *%e is 
misrepresenting in Washington." 

In taking up the study of Greek life in this country we 
will adopt the plan of giving first a brief description of 
some of the most important and characteristic Greek- 
American colonies, and then proceeding to a more general 
discussion of the various phases of the topic from a 
national point of view. 

The two most characteristic colonies are those of 
Chicago and Lowell, the former representing the predomi- 
nant class of settlements where the Greeks are mainly 
established in independent business, the latter that smaller 
class, to which such other cities as Lynn, Salem, HaverhiU 
and Fall River, Massachusetts, and Nashua and Manches- 
ter, New Hampshire, belong, where the majority of the 
Greeks are employed in large manufacturing establish- 
ments under the direction of Americans. The colony of 
New York, while larger than either of these, is less com- 
pact and localized, and holds a less prominent place in the 
organization of the city. 

The Greek Colony of Chicaoo. 

Five years ago if a visitor to Chicago had alighted 
from a Blue Island Avenue street car at Polk Street, 
and had wandered around the neighborhood, along these 
two streets and South Halsted and Ewing Streets, he 
might almost have imagined that he was in Italy. The 
stores, the houses, the people, the sights and sounds all 
would have suggested a distinctly Italian character. 
Within the space of five years, an ethnic revolution has 
been worked in this district, until today it is just as dis- 
tinctively Greek. Here, in the section of which Hull 



House is the social center, are gathered the greater part 
of the 15,000 Greeks who call Chicago their home.^ 

Taking all things into consideration, Chicago is prob- 
ably the oldest and most important Greek colony in the 
United States. Here, too, the Greeks have developed their 
characteristic industries to the fullest extent. Yet the 
Greek invasion of Chicago is comparatively a recent thing. 
In 188S there were very few Greeks in the city, not enough 
to have a community of their own. But they united with 
the Slavs to form the ^^Gneco Slavic Brotherhood," and 
secured a Greek priest.f For the next eighteen years the 
colony grew very slowly, and in 1900, according to the 
census figures, there were only 1,498 Greeks in the city. 
But with the increase in Greek immigration which marked 
the beginning of the present century, the Greek popula- 
tion of Chicago augmented rapidly. In 1904 there were 
7,500 Greeks in the city, and in 1909 about 15,000, of 
whom 1S,000 may be considered permanent residents, and 
the balance transients, who come and go, according as they 
may have work in the city or on the railroad lines in the 
states further west. 

As the Greeks became more numerous they began to do 
what they do in almost every city where they form con- 
siderable settlements — ^they invaded the Italian section and 
drove the Italians out of their homes and out of their busi- 
nesses. The district which has been mentioned, around 
Blue Island Avenue and Polk and South Halsted Streets, 
is today more typically Greek than some sections of 
Athens. Practically all the stores bear signs in both 
Greek and English, coffee-houses flourish on every comer, 

* Hull House Maps. 
tG.-A. Guide, p. 199. 



in the dark littk groctrj storei one sees hlmck oliTes, dried 
ink-fish, tomato paste, and all the qoeer, nameLess roots and 
condiments iHuch are so familiar in Greece. On every 
hand one hears the Greek langaage, and the boys in the 
streets and on the racant lots play, with eq[aal zest, Greek 
games and basd>alL It is a self-sufficing colony, and pro- 
vision is made to supply aD the wants of the Greek immi- 
grant in as near as possible the Greek way. Restaurants, 
coffee-houses, barber-shops, grocery stores and saloons are 
aD patterned after the Greek type, and Greek doctors, 
lawyers, editors and erery variety of agent are to be found 
in abundance. As an indication of how thoroughly Hel- 
lenized this district is, the following list of Greek business 
establishments is given, aD found on Blue Island Avenue 
in the one block between Polk and Ewing Streets, and the 
two short blocks between Polk Street and Gktrley Street : 

Meat mariut and grocery. 


Labor agency. 

Importers and steamship and railroad ticket agents, 

Harness maker. 



Row of two-story tenements. 


Harness maker. 

Drag store. 

Candy and tobacco store, and pool hall. 

Cognac store, 

Restamrant, grocery and saloon. 






Tobacco store. 
Greneral store. 
Candy kitchen, 

All of these are distinctively Greek, and of the few remain- 
ing business houses in these blocks several others are prob- 
ably Greek. 

The contrast between the Greek section and the Italian 
quarter by which it is bordered is very marked. The 
latter is much more crowded, dirty and noisy. Saloons of 
a very disreputable appearance take the place of the 
coffee-houses. Here, too, children are much more in evi- 
dence. In the Greek section, for an hour or so after six 
o'clock, the streets present a very lively appearance, as the 
drivers and peddlers come home, unhitch their horses and 
put them in the stables. But after this is over the settle- 
ment quiets down and the side streets present an abnost 
deserted appearance. Outside of the coffee-houses, the 
Greeks have very few recreations. Theaters, concerts, 
athletic sports, dance halls and the like play a very small 
part in their lives. A few — about seventy-five in 1908 — 
join the Young Men's Christian Association, principally 
for the athletic advantages, particularly wrestling, of 
which they are very fond. 

Of the 15,000 Greeks in the city only about 700 or 800 — _ 
are women. There are consequently very few families, and 
not many children, probably SOO or so. This gives an 
unnatural character to the colony, as the great majority 

of the men have to live by themselves or il^mall groups, 




and either get their own meals or procure them at a res- 
taurant. Very few of the Greeks have married American 

The existence of a separate Greek community dates 
from the year 1891. It is now incorporated under the 
laws of Illinois, and has about 4,000 regular members. 
But in a sense practically all the Greeks in the city are 
connected with it, for they all belong to one or another of 
the twenty smaller societies which are affiliated with the 
community. The purposes of these smaller organizations, 
of which the richest and most powerful is the fruit and 
candy dealers, are benevolent, fraternal and patriotic. 
They give lectures about once a month to educate their 
members in good citizenship. Every Greek in the city is 
at liberty to join the community, but there is a fixed mem- 
bership fee of $S. According to the statement of the 
secretary of the community, any Greek who commits a 
crime is expelled from the society to which he belongs, and 
is denied admission to any other. 

This community maintains an Orthodox Greek church, 
with two priests, both well educated and holding the degree 
of Bachelor of Divinity from the University of Athens. 
They have a small regular salary, but are largely sup- 
ported by special fees, such as a fee of $S5 to $50 for 
performing a marriage ceremony. The church build- 
ing is located at 34 Johnson Street. It is a brick edifice 
with a main room about seventy-five feet by thirty-six feet. 
In accordance with the Greek custom there is no provision 
for seating the worshipers. On the whole, the decorations 
and fittings of the interior present a rather poor and 
shabby appearance for a Greek church. There is another 
Greek church at 19S7 State Street, but its priest got into 



some difficulty with the religious authorities at home and 
it is not now recognized by the Orthodox church. It is 
said that the community has recently purchased a good 
building site on Polk Street for a church and school, at a 
cost of $40,000, most of which has been paid. 

One of the first businesses to be developed by Greeks in 
Chicago was the bootblacking industry. This is organ- 
ized under the padrone system, for a description of which 
see page 17S, and has attained considerable proportions 
until now the Greeks hold a practical monopoly of this 
business in the city. In 1904 there were but three shoe- 
shine parlors in the hands of Greeks in the city. Now 
there are nearly fifty. But the line in which the Greeks 
have made their greatest success is the fruit stores, candy 
kitchens and ice cream parlors. The business of the city 
along these lines is also almost entirely in their hands. In 
1904 there were five fruit stores and £37 candy kitchens, 
several having two or more branches. In 1908 there were 
about £75 fruit, candy and ice cream dealers, several 
having more than one store, besides eleven wholesale fruit 
dealers and eight ice cream manufacturers. Flower sell- 
ing is sometimes combined with these businesses, and some- 
times carried on separately. There were twelve flower 
stores in 1904 and the same number in 1908. The third 
main line of business which occupies the attention of the 
Greeks is the management of hotels and restaurants. 
These are of two kinds — those catering to the Greek trade 
and hence conducted on the Greek plan, and those pat- 
terned after American establishments. Of both kinds 
there were in 1904 seventy-six establishments, and in 1908, 
25S. As each of these establishments employs four or 
five helpers it is evident that nearly half the Greek popula- 



tion of the city is engaged in these specialized occupations. 
Aside from these fixed establishments there are about 2,000 
itinerant fruit peddlers. Some of these are said to make 
as much as $10 or $15 a day. 

The other principal places of business conducted by 
Greeks in 1908 were the following: thirty-six barber-shops, 
eleven bakeries, twenty-two coffee-houses, eight dry goods 
stores, thirty-one groceries, six cigar and cigarette manu- 
factories, nine carpenters, six painters, seven moving pic- 
ture establishments, four printers, five tailors, thirteen pool 
rooms, six hay and feed stores, four milk dealers, six har- 
ness makers and shoemakers, three underwear manufac- 
turers, and two laundries. There are four newspapers 
published in Greek in Chicago, all weekly. The Greek 
Star, Athena, HeUas, and Loxias. There are nine Greek 
physicians and surgeons, three lawyers, one druggist, 
three brokers' offices, two teachers and three poets ! 

We have thus far accounted for perhaps two thirds of 
the Greek population of Chicago. Of the remaining 
"^5,000, probably about 2,000 are employed in Chicago as 
day laborers, builders, etc., or in the factories and packing 
plants and the other 8,000 are transients, finding employ- 
ment from time to time on the railroads of the Middle 
West, for which Chicago is the great labor market. 

To give an idea of the criminal tendencies of the Greeks 
in Chicago, the following table has been compiled from the 
police records of the city. Such other foreign nation- 
alities as have exceeded the Greeks in total number of 
offenses are also included: 












nr Chigaoo. 






of City 




























































































These figures for the other nationalities are of rather 
slight value, as in the absence of information in regard to 
their number in Chicago in the different years, it is im- 
possible to determine the ratio between offenses and total 
population, which is the only just basis of comparison. 
In the case of the Greeks we can make a fairly accurate 



estimate of the number of inhabitants in the city in each 
of the three years. In 1904 the Greek population of 
Chicago was about 7,500 and in 1908 about 15,000. 
Then if the rate of increase was fairly even, the total 
number in 1905 would be about 9,000, in 1906 it would be 
about 10,750, and in 1907 about 1£,750. Reckoning on the 
basis of these figures, in 1905 there was, on the average, 
one violation of law for every seven Greeks in the city; 
in 1906 two offenses for every fifteen Greeks, and in 1907 
one offense for every thirteen Greeks. This shows a 
marked improvement in the matter of criminal tendencies, 
though the fact that each one of the nationalities given in 
the preceding part of the table shows a corresponding 
change, less marked but in the same direction, suggests 
that perhaps this apparent amelioration may be in part 
due to a change in the city administration as well as to an 
improvement in the character of the population. 

A glance at the table shows that the great majority of 
offenses among the Greeks, as in a less degree among the 
other nationalities, are violations, of city ordinances, 
among which disorderly conduct ranks easily first; this 
class of offense, together with the offense of being an 
inmate of a gambling house, makes up considerably more 
than half of the violations of city ordinances. The more 
serious crimes are comparatively rare among the Greeks. 
Among the felonies, the principal crimes committed by 
Greeks are larceny and larceny by bailee, robbery or 
burglary, and assault with intent to commit murder. 
Among the state misdemeanors the leading crimes are 
assault, assault with deadly weapons, and carrying con- 
cealed weapons. 

There has been a great deal of suspicion in regard to 



the bootblacking parlors and other Greek establishments 
that boys were being employed under the legal age and 
worked beyond the legal number of hours. Efforts have 
been made to determine the extent of this evil and to 
correct any abuses, and a few convictions have been made 
( see page 185) but owing to the difficulty of getting testi- 
mony not much has been accomplished. I was told at the 
office of the factory inspector that they found very few 
▼iolators of the factory laws among the Greeks. The 
chief probation officer of the Juvenile Court reported that 
he had very few cases of delinquent Greek children. There 
was one delinquent boy in 1906 and four in 1907. 

In February, 1907, a great deal of indignation was 
aroused against the Greeks of Chicago on account of the 
alleged abuse of young girls in the ice cream parlors and 
fruit stores kept by them. The matter was thoroughly 
agitated by the newspapers, and some arrests were made. 
The most notable case was that of Frank Econamac, who 
was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years in the peni- 
tentiary. In many cases when an arrest was made for 
an offense of this kind, the complainants failed to appear, 
the supposition being that they had been bought off 
in the meantime. One of the principal accusers was the 
restaurant inspector. In the course of his duties he had 
to inspect the rear and basement rooms of the candy, 
fruit and ice cream establishments, and he stated that in 
almost every case he found evidences of the prevalence of 
systematic abuse of young girls. (See Chicago DaUy 
Journal^ February SO, 1907, and Chicago Chronicle^ 
February 19 and 86, 1907.) The Greeks claim that much 
injustice is done their race in this respect, that persons 
of other nationalities are reported as Greeks, and that a 



single offense of this kind is made the basis of a whole- 
sale condemnation of the race. There is probably a good 
deal of truth in this assertion. Yet the secretary of one 
of the societies whose business it is to investigate just such 
cases as this, told me personally that in his opinion the 
Greeks were very culpable in this respect, and that evil 
practices of this sort were characteristic of most of the 
fruit and ice cream stores kept by them. 

When we turn to the matter of dependence we find a 
much more pleasing and creditable state of affairs. The 
evidence in this department is almost wholly negative. 
The Juvenile Court had no cases of dependent Greek 
children during the years 1906 and 1907. The main 
office of the Chicago Bureau of Charities reported that 
they did not remember a single case of Greek applicants. 
The West Side District of the Bureau (in the Greek 
neighborhood) has had only two or three cases of Greeks, 
and the Central District none, except an occasional lodg- 
ing house case. The superintendent of the Municipal 
Lodging House stated : ^*I will say that we have had very 
few Greeks at the Lodging House since it was opened, 

about seven years ago Since the depression began 

(1907) we have given, to July 1, 11,818 lodgings to as 
many different men. I do not believe there were a dozen 
Greeks among them." The Orthodox Community, out of 
abundant funds, spent in 1907 only $496.15 for relief, 
and up to the end of August had spent in 1908 about 
$900. Greeks have a native pride which deters them from 
seeking public assistance. Those in Chicago are prac- 
tically all self-supporting or have some private means of 
support, and if for any reason they fall into need, their 
friends as a rule look after them. 



Greek men in Chicago are said to enjoy good health, 
but the life, or the climate, or the combination of the two 
is said to be very hard on the women, causing them to 
suffer a general decline. 

The 6&SSK Colony of Lowell. 

Lowell, Massachusetts, is a decidedly cosmopolitan city. 
Only about 50 per cent of its 100,000 population are 
English-speaking. Of the balance 25,000 to 80,000 are 
French and French Canadians, 8,000 Swedes, several 
hundred Norwegians, 8,200 Portuguese, 7,000 to 9,000 
Greeks, 2,500 Jews, 200 Armenians, and a great mixture 
of Russians, Grermans, Austrians, Belgians, etc. These 
have come almost entirely within the last twenty-five 

The number of Greeks in this motley assemblage has 
been variously estimated at from 7,000 to 10,000. Prob- 
ably the higher number is nearer the correct one. Of 
these about 7,000 are men and boys over fourteen years 
of age, 2,000 are women and girls over fourteen, and 500 
or so are children under fourteen. These have all come 
within the last fifteen years. In 1900 there were about 
1,800 Greeks in the city, of whom fifty were women. 
There were about thirty families, and nearly 850 persons 
under twenty-one years of age. The census of 1905 gives 
1,694 Greek males and 326 females, a total of 2,020.t 

The great majority of the Greeks of Lowell come from 
Mani or Laconia. This is the mountainous central and 
western peninsula of Greece, rocky and barren in the 
extreme. It takes no wizard to say why the population 

* George F. Kenngott, Housing ConditionB in LoweU. 



has emigrated from there, for the figure of the peasant 
^^wringing a scant subsistence from the reluctant soil" is 
sternly literal here. Only by the most careful terracing 
can olive trees be made to grow on the hillsides, and this 
is the only district of the Peloponnesus where the vine is 
not cultivated. The inhabitants of this region claim to 
be the purest blooded descendants of the ancients of any 
of the modem Greeks, and pride themselves on their lan- 
guage and independent spirit. Unfortunately they still 
maintain bloody vendettas. At any time, without the 
slightest warning, a little village is likely to be disturbed 
by a volley of revolver shots. Everybody rushes indoors, 
barricades the houses, and remains within for a day or so 
until the excitement is over. Among the other Greeks, 
and the foreigners living in the kingdom, the Laconians 
have the reputation of being a rather reckless and turbu- 
lent lot. Such then is the source of the main body of the 
Greek population in Lowell. But there are now repre- 
sentatives from almost every part of the Greek world. 
Recently, Macedonians have been coming in large num- 

The Greek colony of LoweD is probably the most exclu- 
sive and distinctively Greek settlement, of any considerable 
size, in the United States. It centers around a stretch of 
Market Street about a quarter of a mile long, a district 
of old two- and three-story wooden buildings, many of 
them apparently contemporaneous with the founding of 
the city. In this quarter practically every store is a Greek 
one and every dwelling house is inhabited by Greeks. As 
in Chicago, if anything still more so here, the conditions 
of Greek life are reproduced with the greatest fidelity 
possible. There are the same queer little grocery stores, 



the same dingy restaurantsy the same close, smoky coffee- 
houses, with here, as in Greece, at all hours of the day, a 
crowd of big, lazy, able-bodied men, loafing, smoking and 
playing cards, while some poor child toils eight or ten 
hours a day to support them. The self-sufficient nature 
of this colony will be evidenced by the following list of 
Greek business houses and business and professional men: 
seven restaurants, twenty coffee-houses, twelve barber- 
shops, two drug stores, six fruit stores, eight shoe-shine 
parlors, one dry goods store, four ticket agencies, seven 
bakeries, four candy stores, twenty-two grocery stores, five 
coal and wood dealers, eight truckmen, one pool room, one 
flavoring extract factory, one wholesale meat dealer, four 
physicians, one Orthodox priest, two Protestant ministers, 
three milkmen, five farms (owned in partnerships of four 
or five men to each farm), two hundred farm laborers, ten 
real estate owners, one real estate broker, two bankers, 
three teachers. The large number of coffee-houses is an 
impressive witness of the transplantation of Greek customs 
to this country. 

The living conditions among the Greeks of Lowell have 
been so admirably described by Mr. Kenngott in the article 
already referred to that I can do no better than to quote 
a number of paragraphs verbatim from that work. The 
author speaks of the old paternal system of caring for the 
employees which used to be in vogue among the great cor- 
porations, but which has now been largely discarded with 
the result that rents and prices have gone up, causing 
several families to crowd into houses and apartments occu- 
pied, a few years ago, by one family. A few of the cor- 
porations still own boarding houses which are kept in good 
sanitary condition and rented to their employees at low 



rates. But the tenements owned by real estate agents are 
often kept In inferior condition, while the rents are two or 
three times as high. The author then goes on to say : 

'^The worst housing conditions are among the Greeks 

and Syrians The Greeks live largely in the center of 

the city in very old wooden buildings. The largest tene- 
ment block in the Greek colony is at the comer of Market 
and Jefferson Streets. It contains forty rooms with 
seventy-nine inhabitants. There are nine tenements in the 
block. This building is new with modem accommoda- 
tions, such as bath-rooms, porcelain bathtubs, set bowls 
and tubs; and two tenements have furnace heat. There 
are back verandas for drying clothes. Some of the kitchens 
have no windows. There is another large block at the 
comer of Market and Suffolk Streets, towards Merrimack 
Street. On the street floor there are several stores with a 
pharmacy at the comer. This block consists of sixty-six 
rooms with eighty-eight inhabitants in the block. There 
are sixteen rooms having no windows. In the back yard 
there are ropes running from wall to wall for the drying of 
clothes. Each tenement has running water for drinking 
purposes, for washing and for water-closet. 

^^There are many other blocks, probably old as the city 
itself, which are in very miserable condition. Only by a 
personal visit can one understand the housing conditions of 
some of the Greeks and Syrians. 

^^In the old wooden buildings they are crowded in close 
and narrow quarters, with three or more in a room, little 
or no ventilation, rooms often dark without windows, no 
facilities for bathings u^ opportunity for drjring clothes 
except in the crowded kitchen and with toilet facilities 
which are extremely bad. 



^'Many of the Greeks live almost like an army on the 
march, having a common commissariat and living in pov- 
erty, filth and disease. This is due, in large part, to the 
fact that in this population of nearly 9,000, 6,500 are men 
and boys over fourteen years of age. A physician was 
called recently to attend a Greek woman who was sick 
(and) found her lying on a cot, with four men stretched 
out asleep on the floor. I have frequently seen five and six 
crowded in one room where there was sickness, and scores 
coming in to give their condolence.* Worse conditions 
can hardly be imagined than in certain old wooden tene- 
ment houses in the Greek district. ^Bathtubs and bath- 
rooms are unknown to the Greeks, in this section.' (Rev. 
Panos Ginieris.) There are no public baths and no bath- 
houses along the Merrimack River in the city." 

No careful inspections of tenement buildings are made in 
Lowell. **Some of the old buildings in this section should 
be condemned, or radical changes made at once." 

*'As one goes about the city as physician or clergyman, 
he finds that the poorer and more ignorant the people are, 

the more they crowd together in the center of the city 

Ordinarily, there are more abuses of this kind when people 
first come to a place and there are few men having their 
wives with them. Under these conditions their natural 
instinct for a home and all it implies is put aside. With 
this lack of home restraint and the influence of the women, 
there follow the overcrowding of the men, a tendency to 
slovenliness in the care of the apartments and many social 
vices. These people, who have been brought up in foreign 
countries, have little knowledge of how to live in a sanitary 

* A national custom. A sick room is usually the scene of a con- 
tinuous procession of relatives and friends. 



way. This may be due partly to the customs of their own 
countries, partly to thriftlessness, and again to the fact 
that in Lowell there are many who have come from the 
farming districts, many spending the greater part of their 
lives in the open air with their herds. 

^^The Greeks have been and still are to some extent in- 
clined to overcrowd, and many of them are inclined to be 
unsanitary, more particularly in using their hallways and 
cellars for urinals. Now that they are marrying and 
establishing homes, their houses are being kept in better 
condition, but still do not have as large tenements as they 

should for the number of people that occupy them 

Some of the Greeks who have been here longest have estab- 
lished homes in the suburbs, have invested in real estate, 
and have neat and attractive homes. The Greeks promise 
to make a helpful addition to the city's population." 

There are said to be six Greeks in Lowell who have 
American wives, fourteen with French wives and four with 
Polish wives. While there is an unusually large propor- 
tion of females among the Greeks of Lowell, they are not by 
any means all wives. Many of them are factory hands, 
and many are young girls. 

Lowell is preeminently a manufacturing city, and the 
great majority of the foreign peoples who contribute to 
its population are employed in the various mills and fac- 
tories. To this rule the Greeks are no exception. In no 
other city in the country are there so many Greeks em- 
ployed in factory occupations as here. Following is a 
statement of the total number of employees in some of the 
principal manufacturing establishments with the number 
of Greeks among them, based partly on Mr. Kenngott's 
figures and partly on personal inquiries. 



Greek Bmployee! . 
Male* Female Total 


























TrentoD-Suffolk Mills, cotton goods 
Lawrence Mills, knit goods 
Merrimack Mfg. Co., cotton goods 
Massacbnsetts Cotton Mills 
Hamilton Mfg. Co. 
Bigelow Carpet Co. 
Spaiilding & Swett Co., slippers 
Federal Shoe Co . 
Newport Shoe Co. . 

The average weekly wage in these mills is about $9. 
Some of the unskilled workers earn only $6 or $7 per 
week, while some of the skilled workers earn as high as 
$15. The Greeks are mainly employed in unskilled 
labor, in the dye-house, or in tending machines, such as 
the spinning, weaving and carding machines. They do not 
display any particular mechanical ability, and very few of 
them have as yet advanced to positions of responsibility, 
such as overseers or foremen. As workers, they rank 
about on a level with the other nationalities among which 
they work. They hold to their positions with a fair degree 
of steadiness, though the offer of a slight increase of wages 
elsewhere is very likely to cause them to move. When they 
leave a position it is usually of their own volition ; they are :^ y 

seldom discharged. They are amenable to discipline and 
practically never cause any trouble through drunkenness. 

The two great complaints which mill agents make 
against the Greeks are such as we might expect from our 
knowledge of two of their principal characteristics — fac- 
tiousness, and fondness for exploiting each other. Mill 
agents testify that their Greek employees are very apt to 
form into small groups or cliques, and while there is seldom 

* Some of these figures, especially in regard to sex, are estimates. 



any friction between the Greeks and workers of other races, 
these little cliques are constantly getting into altercations 
with each other, which often result in violence and blood- 
shed. It is impossible for the employers to get at the true 
cause of the difference and sometimes the whole lot has to 
be discharged. Greeks who have just come to the city 
usually secure employment through the agency of some of 
their friends who have been here longer. This is the only 
feasible way of getting the newcomer and the employer 
together, but it often leads to abuses. Some Greek who has 
been in this country for a short time, and has learned a few 
words of English, gets hold of a green immigrant and tells 
him that if he will pay him $5 or $10 (the amount varying 
with the gullibility of the victim) he will secure him a job 
in the mill where he himself is employed. The transaction 
takes place, and the next day the older resident takes the 
newcomer around to the mill and tells the foreman that here 
is a man who wants a job, and if the mill is needing workers 
he is taken on. The mill agents do all in their power to 
discourage this practice, and if any Greek is discovered 
engaging in it, he and his whole crowd are dismissed. The 
trouble is that when a man has secured a position in this 
way he thinks that because he has paid for it, he owns it, 
and if he is discharged for inefficiency or for any other 
reason he thinks that an injustice has been done him. One 
mill agent told me that the greatest benefit that could be 
conferred on a crowd of incoming Greeks would be to im- 
press them thoroughly with the idea that they need not 
pay anybody a cent for a job. 

The factious spirit of the Greeks is especially in evidence 
in Lowell. It crops out on every hand, and Greeks are 
constantly coming into court with dissensions, which defy 



the judges and lawyers to get at the real root of the diffi- 
culty, or arrive at a just solution. As usual, this spirit 
has manifested itself particularly in regard to the affairs of 
the church. The Orthodox Community was organized 
about 1898. A few years ago it was decided to erect a 
fine new church building. The president of the community 
at that time was a well-educated Greek of fine manners who 
had attained quite a high position in Lowell society. When 
it came to the choice of a building site there was a division. 
One party had a lot in view which had much to reconunend 
it, but the president advocated another site, hmited in 
extent and of poor outlook, because — so said the other 
faction — there was more graft in it for him. Eventually 
the president and his party prevailed, and building was 
commenced in that location. But the dissatisfaction in- 
creased and presently the other party found itself in power. 
It was too late to change the building site, but the president 
was deposed and another man elected in his place. The old 
president, however, refused to give up the books and the 
money, and the matter had to be taken into court before 
the new administration could get affairs intojts own hands. 
About the same time the old president fell under suspicion 
in regard to his complicity in contract labor enterprises 
and other evil practices, and rapidly lost his prestige. 
The bitter feeling caused by this affair permeated the whole 
Greek society of Lowell, and has by no means subsided up 
to the present time. This story has been introduced at 
such length because it illustrates so forcibly the lack of 
harmony which is so typical of Greeks in the United 
States, as well as in the old country. 

The church building itself progressed finely and stands 
completed today — undoubtedly the finest edifice belonging 



to the Greek Orthodox church in this country. Its cost 
was about $769000. It is about one hundred and ten feet 
by fifty-one feet on the exterior, built in the modified 
Byzantine style which is characteristic of buildings of this 
order. The material is a fine cream colored brick. There 
are two small domes in front and one large one over the 
center, all gilded at a cost of $S,000. The roof is of slate. 
The interior is beautifully fitted up in the orthodox style. 
The windows are of stained glass and the frescoes are of 
really remarkable excellence. The chandelier, candelabra 
and carved mahogany bishop's chair are all of the finest 
workmanship. The church is lighted with electricity and 
heated by steam. There is a gallery for the women. In 
the basement is a nicely finished room, fitted up with 
seventy-two desks as a school. This is maintained at the 
expense of the church, with the main purpose of cherishing 
the national feeling for Greece in the hearts of the rising' 
generation. There are two teachers, a Greek man and an 
American lady, and about sixty-five pupils, both boys and 

The following table compiled from the police reports 
shows the criminal record of the Greeks of Lowell for the 
five years 1904-1908, inclusive. For purposes of compari- 
son the figures for all the other nationalities given in the 
tables are also included. 






Ending May SO. 







United SUtes . 


































British ProTincM 






Greece (Greeks) 












Torkiflli Empire 






























t • I 






As the table shows, the number of arrests among the 
Greeks has remained fairly constant for the five years. As 
the total number of Greeks in the city has been increasing 
somewhat, this indicates a degree of improvement in their 
criminal record. Taking the figures given on page ISS as 
a basis of comparison, we find that in 1908 there was one 
arrest among the Greeks for every fifty-eight of the total 
Greek population, among the Portuguese one out of every 
188, of the Swedes one out of 1,000, and if we assume that 
90 per cent of the offenses credited to the British Provinces 
were committed by French Canadians, their proportion 
would be about one arrest to forty-two total population. 
Of the English-speaking population, native and foreign, 
the proportion is about one arrest to fourteen total popu- 
lation, a result to which the Irish contribute very largely. 
The police records do not give any statement as to the 
classes of offenses for which the different nationalities were 
arrested, but I was informed by the officials that arrests 
among the Greeks are almost wholly for minor offenses such 
as disorderly conduct, quarreling, gambling and breach of 
the Sunday observance regulations. 



Applications for relief from public sources are few 
among the Greeks in Lowell. The principal philanthropic 
organization in the dty is the Ministry-at-Large. Out of 
a total of 2,867 cases assisted by this organization in lOOT* 
sixty-five were Greeks. The reason given for this small 
number is that the Greeks have not yet *^got on to" this 
source of assistance. It is said that if they knew the ropes, 
they would come f£Lst enough. One Greek of considerable 
prominence in the city is said to have tried to increase his 
prestige among his people by acting as an intermediary 
between the society and the needy individual. But as he 
always insisted on administering the relief himself in per- 
son, the society became suspicious and put a check on his 

Taking them altogether, the Greeks in Lowell hold an 
unenviable reputation in the mind of the average American 
citizen of the place. On the whole they are considered a 
quarrelsome, treacherous, filthy, low-living lot. Yet this 
opinion does injustice to a large proportion, possibly a 
majority of them. There are many Greeks in the city 
who are just as fine a type of citizen as one could hope to 
find. In this case, as in so many others, a dozen noisy, 
turbulent, disreputable individuals can attract more atten- 
tion, and make more of an impression on the outsider's 
mind, than a couple of hundred who go quietly about their 
business, say little, and stay where they belong. 

In general, however, conditions are probably as bad 
among the Greeks of Lowell as in any other settlement of 
that people in the country. This is due, partly, to the fact 
that the majority of them come originally from a turbu- 
lent stock, partly to the fact that they are engaged so 
largely in factory occupations instead of in independent 



business, partly to the fact that they are living in tenement 
conditions in a small city, without proper tenement inspec- 
tion or control. The miserable living and working condi^ 
tions in which they live cause a great deal of disease among 
them. Tuberculosis is very prevalent, caused by the 
wretched living conditions and breathing the dust of the 
factories. The following case is typical of hundreds. A 
little girl, lying sick with tuberculosis in the hospital, was 
visited by the wife of one of the Protestant pastors, who 
asked her how she contracted the disease. The child 
replied that at the age of twelve she entered one of the 
mills, at the instigation of her father. In order to gain 
admittance she made a false oath in regard to her age. 
The hard work, close confinement, and bad air were too 
much for her, and she contracted the dread disease. 
Eventually she succumbed to it. In 1906 this disease be- 
came so prevalent that the Board of Health caused a notice 
to be printed and circulated, especially in the Greek sec- 
tion of the city, stating the causes of tuberculosis, and the 
means of its prevention. Certain regulations in regard to 
the ventilation of bedrooms and the number of beds in each, 
and the provision and use of spittoons, were prescribed 
and it was stated that any violations of them would be 
prosecuted. But no prosecutions occurred and little else 
was done about the matter.* 

The ignorance of the Greeks in this colony is another 
cause of many evils and abuses. Particularly is this true 
of ignorance of the English language, which many of them 
find it almost impossible to learn under the circumstances 
in which they are placed. A Greek who has managed to 
get some acquaintance with the language and customs of 

* Kenngott. 



this country has a great advantage over his feUow country- 
men and most of them are not slow to make the most of it. 
One way in which this is done is for the proprietor of a 
grocery store or meat market to go to a group of new- 
comers who have just established themselves in the com- 
munity, particularly if they are Macedonians, and tell 
them that they are disobeying some of the laws of the city 
and that if they do not purchase their provisions of the 
storekeeper in question he will put the police on their trail. 
The poor newcomers know of nothing else to do but to 
comply. The provisions sold by such means as this are 
said to be vile in the extreme. Similar abuses in the 
matter of securing employment have already been noted. 
To correct these evils the city, through its Board of 
Education, is making every effort to further education 
among the foreign element, particularly by means of the 
system of evening schools. Of these there are sixteen, 
two of which are wholly Greek, and one other mainly so. 
Attendance at these schools is compulsory for persons of 
both sexes under twenty-one years of age who cannot read 
and write English. These schools are held four evenings 
a week for nineteen weeks. In 1906-07 in the three schools 
which were mainly Greek there was a total average attend- 
ance of 4S9 and a total enrollment of 987. In 1907-08 
in two Greek schools there was a total average attendance 
of 670. To secure attendance at these schools a very 
wise device has been adopted. Each pupil is given a card 
which is signed week by week with a record of his school 
attendance. Unless this card shows a correct record for 
the week previous, the holder cannot secure employment 
in any of the mills. Almost all of the employers give their 
hearty support to this scheme, and the loss of this card 



is a much dreaded misfortune. The withdrawal of this 
card from any pupil is the severest punishment in vogue 
in the night schools, and the mere threat of such an action 
is usually sufficient to secure obedience. If a child is under 
fourteen years of age he is supposed to attend the day 
schools.* But there is great difficulty in applying this 
rule, for the Greeks are inveterate liars when it comes to 
matters of age — or anything else that will interfere with 
their doing what they want to. (For a fuller discussion 
of the problem of age, see under the padrone system, page 

Another very commendable effort to improve the con- 
ditions of the Greeks in Lowell takes the form of a book 
of Municipal Regulations, published in Greek and English 
and distributed freely, under the auspices of the Middle- 
sex Women's Club of the city. This Iktle booklet contains 
much valuable advice in regard to decent and sanitary 
living, and obedience to law. 

Ths Gbeek CoiiONY OF New Yobk. 


The New Yo^k <Mony is less distinctive and centralized 
t^n either of the settlements hitherto described. The 
characteristic occupations of the Greeks here resemble 
those of Chicago rather than those of Lowell, and as these 
business houses are scattered over long distances, the ten- 
dency is for the Greeks to gather in several small settle- 
ments rather than for all to collect in one large one. On 
account of the immense size of the metropolis, also, the 
Greeks have not as yet impressed themselves so distinctly 
on the industrial organization, nor been able to gain the 

* If a child cannot read and write simple English he must attend 
the day school until he is sixteen. 




same degree of control of their typical businesses, as in 
the smaller places. At the present time there are in 
Greater New York about 20,000 Greeks, of whom 12,000 
to 14,000 live in Manhattan and the Bronx. They are 
almost entirely males. From 40 to 60 per cent are said 
to be married, but very few have their wives with them. 
The Greek-American Guide (1909, page 164) says, "The 
unmixed Greek families in- New York number about 150 to 
170, and the mixed families are few." As a result the men 
have to live in the manner which we have found to be the 
characteristic one in Chicago and Lowell. A group of 
men — four or five, or even a dozen — club together and rent 
One or more rooms which are used as their sleeping and 
living apartments. The meals are either prepared by the 
men in their rooms, or secured at restaurants outside^^ 
True home life is practically non-existent among them. \I1> 
There are three main centers of Greek life in Man-^ 
hattan. One of them centers around Madison Street, 
between Catherine and Pearl Streets, running for short 
distances up Roosevelt Street, Oliver Street and other side 
streets ; the second has its center on Sixth Avenue, about 
Thirtieth Street, and extends for some distance both 
ways on Sixth Avenue, and east and west into the side 
streets ; the third is on the opposite side of the city around 
the intersection of Thirtieth Street with Second and Third 
Avenues. Of these settlements the first is the oldest and 
the most typically Greek. On the whole the residents are 
of the less prosperous class, small dealers, push-cart men, 
etc. It is the starting place of the newcomers, so that 
while the settlement is the oldest, the settlers themselves 
are probably more recent than in other sections. As in 
Chicago, the Greeks have invaded an Italian settlement 



and are slowly displacmg the earlier inhabitants. As yet» 
howeTer, the population of this section is far from being 
whoUy Greek. The tenement house records for this region 
show a most heterogeneous collection of dweUers, Irish, 
American, Russian, Italian, Chinese and others. The 
business houses, however, are almost entirely Greek, coffee- 
houses, groceries, restaurants, barber-shops, importers' 
establishments, etc. The coffee-houses are as exact a 
reproduction of those in Greece — ^with the exception of 
the outdoor features — as one could hope to find. There 
are the same small tables, the same familiar lithographs 
of the "Death of Patroclus,*' "The Vengeance of Achilles,'* 
**Byron Taking the Oath of Allegiance," and "King 
Greorge of Greece." There is the same vile atmosphere 
and the same crowd of big, able-bodied loafers with appar- 
ently nothing to do all day but smoke, drink, play cards 
and talk. ' And as in Greece, the proprietors and waiters 
are often in their shirt sleeves and coUarless, with a decid- 
edly unkempt appearance in general. The restaurants 
in this settlement are also distinctively Greek in appear- 
ance and in the character of the food. The tenement 
houses in this district are old and many of them very un- 
desirable. Many have several dark rooms on each floor. 
The average number of water-closets is one to two or three 
families, but some have no inside closets whatever. 

The Sixth Avenue settlement is much more American- 
ized. In fact the casual passer-by would hardly notice 
any evidences that he was in the midst of a Greek district. 
The residents of this section are on the whole more pro- 
gressive and engaged in larger and more important busi- 
nesses. The smaUer colony on the opposite side of the 
city around Second Street and Third Avenue is almost 






whoUy a residence section, and except for one or two 
Greek stores there is nothing to show that it is settled by 
this race. 

The Greek- American Guide gives the following list of 
business firms and business and professional men: seven 
newspapers and periodicals, ten steamship agents, three 
real estate agents, five importing and exporting mer- 
chants, six physicians and surgeons, thirty-seven Greek 
produce importers and groceries, seventy confectioners, 
twenty-six tobacco importers and cigarette manufacturers, 
one hundred and thirteen florists, forty-six fur dealers and 
furriers, eleven wholesale fruit dealers, sixty-two retail 
fruit dealers, fifty-one bootblack parlors, one hotel and 
restaurant, sixty-seven restaurants and lunch rooms, forty 
Greek restaurants and coflFee-houses, thirty-two Greek 
coffee-houses, four saloons, two photographers, three 
teachers, two printers, five booksellers, twenty-four bar- 
bers, seventeen tailors, four shoemakers, five bakers, four 
Greek candy makers, six carpteters, two priests, nine 
editors, nine miscellaneous. In Brooklyn there are eight- 
een confectioners, thirty-three restaurants, seven fruit 
dealers, and ten florists. In Coney Island, thirty-one 
hotels, restaurants, etc. This list includes only separate 
establishments. In regard to the number of people 
actually engaged in the different trades, from information 
furnished me by two of the leading Greeks in the city, the 

Ho wing estimate has been made: confectioners, 1,250; 
florists, 650; restaurants (including waiters, dishwashers, 
etc.), S,500; fruit dealers and peddlers, 2,000; bootblacks, 
500. These figures may hettaken as fairly accurate for 
the city proper. The balance of the Greek population are 
engaged in miscellaneous trades and independent busi- 



nesses. There are few Greek factory workers in New 
York, outside of a small number employed in the cigarette 

One of the first trades to be taken up by the Greeks — 
probably the very first — ^in New York was the fiorist busi-- 
ness. This was started in a small way as a street trade. 
As different men prospered they would rent little stores 
where they would keep their stock, and hire a number of 
boys to do the selling on the streets. This sort of trade is 
well suited to the genius of the Greeks, and they have pros- 
pered at it. The confectionery, restaurant and fruit busi- 
ness followed. In the bootblacking trade the Greeks are 
just beginning to get a foothold. This business is still 
practically controlled by the Italians in New York. In 
all of these occupations the Greeks have on the whole pros- 
pered. * Common peddlers are said to make about $600 
to $1,000 per year; waiters from $500 to $1,600; boys in 
bootblack shops from $600 to $800, including their living 
expenses.* The profits of men in independent business of 
course vary, just as in the case of any other business men. 
There are a few extremely wealthy Greek firms in the city, 
mostly importers. One of the most profitable Greek enter- 
prises in the city is the Greek Hotel on Forty-second 
Street, opposite the Grand Central Depot. 

As in Chicago, so in New York, the Greeks are a negligi- 
ble factor in the work of the charitable organizations of 
the city. The ofllcials of the Charity Organization So- 
ciety say that they have extremely few cases of Greeks. 
The secretary of the Bureau for the Handicapped could 
remember only one Greek case in many years. The State 

'lliese figures, though furnished hj an influential Greelc, are 
probably somewhat exaggerated. 



Board of Charities from January 1, 1906, to August 15, 
1907» had six cases of Greeks ; five were removed from the 
Metropolitan Hospital and sent to Greece, and one from 
the City Hospital. The secretary of the Bowery Branch 
of the Y. M. C. A. says that he has very few applications 
from men of this nationality. Wherever inquiries are 
made the same answer is returned. Neither do the Greeks 
enter into the life of the social settlements. The University 
Settlement and the Jacob A. Riis Settlement both reported 
that they had no Greeks. The College Settlement has 
made an effort to get hold of the Greeks, but without suc- 
cess. Six years ago they followed the example of Hull 
House and gave a presentation of the J* A j ax" with Greek 
actors. While the performance itself was a grand success, 
the managers had a great deal of trouble in getting the 
**high class" and "low class" Greeks to work together in 
harmony, and no permanent results were secured in the 
way of enlisting the interest of the Greeks in the work of 
the settlement. 

Outside of the coffee-houses the Greeks have few amuse- 
ments. There are no athletic clubs, dance halls or Greek 
theaters, though occasionally a play is presented in Greek 
in one of the American theaters. The social life of the 
people centers almost entirely around the coffee-houses and 
restaurants, though there is a Greek political club, with 
Re]^ublican affiliations, on Sixth Avenue. The best Greek 
restaurants, of a distinctively foreign type, are ogk the * 
central streets of the Sixth Avenue settlement. At these 
places the cooking is excellent and the prices very moder-^^- 
ate. A first-rate meal, consisting of soup, roast .lamb, 
potatoes, salad, Greek pudding and bread may be secured 
for thirty-five or forty cents. These restaurants are pat- 



ronized by the more well-to-do Greeks. The lower class 
establishments on Madison Street have even more reason- 
able rates. The Greek takes plenty of time for his meals 
and may spend a couple of hours or more altogether, smok- 
ing, drinking his black coffee and chatting with his friends. 
The newspaper, too, plays a large part in this entertain- 
ment, and newsboys are continually entering and calling 
out their different journals. 

There are four newspapers published in New York, the 
Atlantis and the PanheUemCy daily; the Simaia^ semi- 
weekly; and the Paraxenos (humorous), bi-weekly. Be- 
sides these there are two monthly magazines, the Commer- 
cial Review, and the Thermopyla. Of these the most 
important is the Atlantis, which is considered the authori- 
tative organ of the Greek- American people. This paper 
was established in 1894, and has now a circulation of about 
15,000 copies. It has a busy office on West Thirty-first 
Street, with an editorial staff of five, and about ten em- 
ployees. One important department is that of book sell- 
ing. Unfortunately the editor does not command the uni- 
versal respect that his influential position ought to carry 
with it. Rightly or wrongly, there are many scandals 
attached to his past life, and many of his influential fellow 
countrymen are y^j bitter against him. 
^The Pantj^gnic, a so-called ^independent*' daily, was 
established in March, 1908. The general relation between 
it and the Atlantis is one of bitter rivalry. In this con- 
nection a rather racy incident developed in the fall of 1908, 
which so well illustrates the inborn spitefulness of the 
Greeks, their fondness for newspaper vituperation, and 
some other phases of their character that it seems to merit 
a small space here. When the new daily was founded it 



secured as one of its principal officials a certain Mr. Ekon- 
omidy, who had been employed for three or four years on 
the staff of the Atlantic, and left it, so the PanheUenic 
claimed, bearing a letter of recommendation from one of 
the editors of the older paper. In November, 1908, the 
PanheUenic announced that this gentleman had started on 
a tour of the Greek colonies of the United States, in the 
interests of his paper. In regard to this announcement, 
the Atlantis published a scurrilous paragraph under the 
headline, "The Kitchen Bill op the Cooks," which 
stated that, "In the independent free communal daily bill 
of fare of the cooks of Forty-second Street, the one written 
by the Hebrew editor, it was stated that" the director of 
its office had started on a tour of the interior to secure sub- 
scribers. The Greeks of the country were asked to take 
note that he had been dismissed from the office of the 
Atlantis for stealing and systematic theft of books and 
petty cash, and thereby to give "a good lesson to the cooks 
and the Hebrews, that they were not so easily duped." 
The purpose of this screed, according to the opposite 
party, was to discredit Mr. Ekonomidy, his paper and his 

A few days later the editor of the Atlantis went to the 
Hotel Imperial, as was his custom, for lunch. While he 
was seated in the dining room a page entered, and told him 
that some one wished to see him in the lobby. He went to 
the place designated and found there the wife of Mr. Ekon- 
omidy. Before the editor could grasp the situation, the 
woman drew from under her long coat a horsewhip and 
lashed him across the face with all her strength. She was 
finally disarmed by the hotel attendants, but only after 
she had administered similar punishment to one or two of 



them. This event naturally called for comment from both 
the papers. The PanheUeniCy after deprecating vengeance 
in general, went on to give the extenuating circumstances 
of this case, and concluded with the following burst of ora- 

^*Mr. Ekonomidy is at the present moment seven hundred 
miles away from New York. But Mrs. Ekonomidy is in 
New York, and in her veins runs Hellenic and even Spartan 
blood. And Mrs. Ekonomidy has taken vengeance for 
the honor of her husband, for the honor of the father of 
her child, thrashing publicly yesterday the two slanderers." 
The Atlantis adopted a rather apologetic tone for taking 
any notice of so vulgar a transaction.* 

The Orthodox Community of New York dates from the 
year 1891. It was incorporated under the state laws in 
1904. Its organization included a president, vice-presi- 
dent, secretary and treasurer, and seven trustees, elected 
by ballot every two years and holding regular meetings 
the last Thursday of each month. The dues are voluntary 
and from 600 to 600 members are said to pay $5 per year 
or over. Some of the wealthy Greeks pay much more. 
The membership is supposed to include every Greek in the 
city. But here, as in Chicago and Lowell, the spirit of 
dissension has invaded the realm of religion. In the year 
1908 the self-styled "progressive element" in the church 
began to feel a spirit of dissatisfaction with the way things 
were going. They felt that the affairs of the church were 
controUed by a group of undesirable and conservative 
Greeks, and that they themselves could get no part in the 

*See the N&v York Herald, December 9, 1908, the AtlantU^ Novem- 
ber 97, 1906, the PanhelUmc, December 9, 1906, the Atlantii, Decem- 
ber 9, 1908, etc. 



management of the organization. Consequently they 
withdrew from the congregation and rented a new church 
of their own, and secured their own priest. At the present 
time the Greek population of the city is divided into two 
factions, between which there seems to be a good deal of 
hard feeling. Each claims to have the greater number of 
adherents. There are no doctrinal differences between the 
two, but the division appears to have been on personal 
grounds. It is very hard for an outsider to get at the 
true inwardness of affairs of this kind among the Greeks. 

The older church, the "Holy Trinity," has its edifice at 
161^ East Seventy-second Street. This building was 
purchased by the Community at a cost of $65,000, 
of which $20,000 has been paid in four years. The sum 
of $24,000 additional has been expended on the furnish- 
ings of the interior, the marble for which was brought 
from Greece. The building rented by the other organi- 
zation is at S29-SS5 West Thirtieth Street, and is desig- 
nated the "Annunciation." It is the intention of the 
church to purchase this building soon. 

The fondness of the Greeks for organizations is mani- 
fested in the fact that aside from the Orthodox Community 
there are about thirty smedler associations in the city. In 
reply to a query as to the purpose of these societies, my 
informant, one of the foremost Greeks in the country and 
an extremely keen, affable and intelligent man, replied: 
"One of them does a great deal of valuable work along 
benevolent lines. As for the rest, I can't for the life of 
me say what their purpose is. I'll tell you ! Each society 
has a president, a vice-president, a secretary, and a treas- 
urer — and ihafg something.** 

The criminal record of the Greeks in New York is not 



very creditable. The report of the City Magistrates 
Courts, First Division (Boroughs of Manhattan and the 
Bronx) for 1907 gives the following list of the different 
nationalities of persons held for trial or summarily tried 
and convicted in these courts for that year: 

United SUtes 


















Other coontries . 



> 1 


Since there were 10,000 to 1S,000 Greeks in the district 
covered by this report in the year in question, there was, on 
the average, a trifle over one arrest for every four of the^ 
total population. It is impossible to make any exact com- 
parison of the Greeks with other nationalities from the 
above table, in the absence of exact data as to the total 
population of these other races in 1907, in this district. 
We may gain a sort of general idea, however, in regard to 
those born in Russia and in Italy. The Russians are of 
course almost wholly Russian Jews. It is a conservative 
estimate to place the niunber of these people in Manhattan 
and the Bronx in the year in question at 500,000. Their 
average, then, would be in the neighborhood of one arrest 
for fifty-four of the total population. The Italian popula- 
tion of New York City in 1900 was 145,493. Considering 
the enormous immigration of people of this race during the 
succeeding seven years it is a perfectly safe assumption 



that in 1907 there were at least twice as many — say 
8OO9OOO — ^in the two boroughs in question. On this basis 
their average of arrests would be one for every thirty-six. 
In comparison with these two nationalities, to whom we 
have at least done no injustice, the record of the Greeks is 
very discreditable. On the other hand it must be noted that 
the offenses of the Greeks are almost wholly of a minor 
nature. Out of the total of S,0S9 given above, S,55S1 
cases were violations of the Corporation Ordinances, 5S86 
were for disorderly conduct, 86 for violations of the sani- 
tary law and S5 for Sabbath breaking, leaving only 122 
for all other offenses. Of the 8,249 offenses committed 
by Italians, 413 were assault (felony and misdemeanor), 
1,752 disorderly conduct, 99 homicides, 250 larceny 
(felony and misdemeanor), 75 Sabbath breaking, S,060 
violations of Corporation Ordinances, 660 violations of 
the sanitary law. A total of 9,254 cases of Russians 
includes 227 assaults, 2,496 disorderly conduct, 29 homi- 
cides, S92 felonies, 287 Sabbath breaking, 8,144 violations 
of the Corporation Ordinances, and 1,367 violations of 
the sanitary law. There was not a single case of homi- 
cide among the Greeks. But even among the Greeks 
there seems to have been considerable improvement in the 
matter of criminality. ]\Ir. P. F. Hall cal|s attention to 
the fact that though in 1900 there were only 1,809 Greeks 
in New York, in 1902 there were 1,678 persons of this 
nationality held in the courts we have been considering.* 
In the Children's Court of the First Division in 1907 there 
were but three cases of Greeks out of a total of 11,446. 

There are not many Greek children in the public schools 
of New York, as would be expected from the small number 

* P. F. Hall, Immigration, p. 153. 



of Greek families. The principal of the Boys' Depart- 
ment of Public School No. 1, located on Henry Street 
on the edge of the Madison Street Greek settlement, told 
me that he had about seventy-five Greek boys in the school. 
Practically all were bom abroad. Their average age is 
about thirteen years and few of them remain in the school 
more than two years. Their parents are anxious to have 
them go to work as soon as possible. Voluntary truancy 
on the part of the boys is exceptional, in which they differ 
from the Italian boys. There are occasional brilliant in- 
dividuals among them, but as a rule they do not compare 
very favorably with other foreign boys. There are very 
few Greek girls in this school, one defective being the only 
one enroUed in December, 1908. 

The Gbeek Co]x>ny of Lincoln. 

The small but very typical Greek colony in Lincoln, 
Nebraska, may be taken as representative of a large 
number of similar settlements located in the smaUer cities 
and^ovns all over the United States. Lincoln is a flour- 
ishing western city with a population in 1900 of 40,169. 
It is the capital of the state and a great educational 
center. Here are located about thirty-five Greeks. All 
but four or five are males and only about a dozen are 
adults, the remainder being boys employed in the shoe- 
shining parlors and in the candy store. This candy store 
is located on the comer of Fourteenth and O Streets, out- 
side of the present center of business, but in a district 
toward which trade is rapidly moving and which many 
shrewd business men predict will be the center of business 
in a few years. It is run in partnership by two Greeks, 
one of whom comes from Sparta and has been in this 



country eighteen years. He usually acted as the host on 
my several visits to the store. It was rather difficult to 
find the other partner in, as he was an ardent patron of 
baseball, and was frequently in attendance at the games, 
in company with the proprietor of the shoe-shining par- 
lors. Both of the proprietors of the candy store are very 
cordial, pleasing in appearance and apparently good 
business men. The store is of good size and very clean 
and attractive. There is a fine fountain for the service 
of ice cream, soda water, etc., show cases with candy, and 
tables and chairs in the rear of the room. Back of the 
main room is a small office, into which my host conducted 
me. We found there two or three Greek women, one with 
a baby, and one or two Greek men, to whom I was intro- 
duced. In the basement are located the freezers and 
machines for the preparation of the ice cream. The room 
is cement floored and everything is clean and attractive. 
In every way I was treated with a hospitality which 
marked me as a guest rather than as a patron or inves- 

The proprietor of the Greek shoe-shining parlors prac- 
tically controls this business in the city. He is a pleasant 
man to converse with, young, and handsome in a typically 
Greek way. He is well spoken of by the secretary of the 
Y. M. C. A. He owns and operates four shoe-shining 
establishments, three on O Street, the principal business 
street of the city, and the other one on one of the side 
streets just off O. He seems proud of his business and 
is glad to talk about it. He says that he employs about 
twenty boys. Their pay ranges from $16 to $26 per 
month and aXL expenses except their own shoes and clothes. 
One boy who has been with him three years receives $400 



per year. In each shop one of the boys who has been with 
him longest is pTtn general oversight. The boys are 
almost without exception industrious and willing, and 
there is seldom any show of reluctance or of holding off 
for some other boy to do the work. The shops differ in 
their appointments, the best one being quite palatial, with 
seyenteen leather-covered chairs of dark hardwood, electric 
fans, hat cleaners, etc. 

The proprietor of these shops was married in the spring 
of 1908 to a Greek girl whom he had known in the old 
country. She came to this country three years previously 
and lived with her brothers in Chicago. The two of them 
now have a large flat on Twelfth and N Streets, where 
they live with the boys, "all like one big family.'* The 
"boss" says he very seldom sends directly for any boy to 
come over. One of his employees perhaps has a brother 
or cousin in the old country and he writes to him that if 
he will come over he can probably find work here. So he 
c(Nnes, and the *%oss" gives him a job. As for sending 
over and bringing boys here in a professional way, there 
is no truth in the frequent newspaper reports to that 
effect — says "the boss." In addition to his shops in Lin- 
coln this proprietor has a shop in Hastings, Nebraska, 
and one in St. Joseph, Missouri. Some Greeks from 
another city came to Lincoln and set up a rival shop, but 
they were not able to make a success of it, and sold out 
their fixtures to the first comer. The proprietor says 
that the boys save money, and most of them send some 
home to the old folks. 

In September, 1906, one of the boys employed in these 
shops became dissatisfied and left his job. He circulated 
complaints against his former employer which came to 



the ears of the secretary of the Humane Society, and he, 
in company with the secretary of City Charity Associ- 
ation, made an investigation. The charges stated that 
the employer underfed his boys, made them work from 
6.S0 a.m. to 10 or 11 p.m., took away their tips, and kept 
himself in debt to them to prevent their leaving him. He 
refused to let them enter the night school and their wages 
of S5 cents per day were not paid imtil the end of the 
year. The investigators visited the rooming house where 
twelve or fifteen boys were kept. They foimd the boys un- 
willing to talk much about themselves or their employer, 
and while a good deal of dirt was discovered, nothing 
more serious was revealed and no arrests were made. The 
boy was referred to one of the attorneys in the city, but 
as far as can now be ascertained nothing was done, and 
the case was settled out of court.* 

These bootblack shops are kept open on Sunday but 
are frequently closed on Greek holidays. Considerable 
complaint has been made against them because at the 
time of the State Fair — the rush season in Lincoln — ^they 
raised their prices from the regular five cents to ten 
cents. But while this may be undesirable, it would be 
hard to demonstrate that in so doing they depart widely 
from the practice habitual to native Americans on similar 

In the basement of the candy kitchen is a tailoring 
establishment run by a Greek from Athens, who is an 
intelligent and apparently well-educated man. He is very 
loyal to his native city, and has some fine photographs of 
Greek antiquities which he takes great pride and pleasure 
in showing. 

* Lincoln Dmif N^wm, September 91, 1006. 



Lincoln is a division point of the Burlington & Mis- 
souri River Railroad, and a large number of Greeks 
are employed on the section from time to time. The 
division superintendent, when asked his opinion of the 
Greeks as laborers, said that the Greeks and Italians are 
about alike. The Greeks live a little better and eat more 
meat. He thinks there is no better way of sizing up the 
situation than to say that all foreigners are getting just 
as ^^wise" as the Americans. It does not take them long 
after they arrive in this country to learn all the tricks of 
shirking and killing time that will help to make life easy 
for them. These Greek laborers are secured through the 
passenger agent of the company in Chicago, who in turn 
secures them from a Greek labor agency. 

In the late summer of 1908 a gang of about fifty Greeks 
was at work ballasting the track along the new line of 
the B. & M. R. R. out of Lincoln to the west. The fore- 
man was an American and spoke of his gang as follows : 

**Yes, the Greeks are good workers. This gang is 
better than any bunch of Italians I ever had, except one. 
They live much better than the Italians — why, they live 
as well as we do. They keep their dishes clean and are 
a good-natured lot. They draw their pay directly from 
the railroad company, and the B. & M. has no gangs 
working on any other basis, though I know of some gangs 
on other railroads where the laborers are hired and paid 
by a contractor, who receives his compensation from the 

These men were under the direction of an interpreter, 
who acted as ^'sub-boss" under the foreman. He was a 
Greek and a very interesting man. He first came to this 
country in 1886, and has traveled considerably since. 



He spent some time on the west coast of Africa. His 
present home is in Chicago, where he has a family. He 
goes out with different gangs of men for varying periods 
of time. 

The laborers were an interesting, good-natured lot. 
They displayed the characteristic Greek loyalty to the 
old country, some of them going so far as to claim that 
wages were better over there. They were drawing from 
the railroad a daily wage of $1.40 — ^about twice what 
they could have hoped for in Greece. They came from 
all sorts of occupations on the other side. A few of them 
seemed to justify the remark of the division superintendent 
*^at they were "wise," but this was not general, and they 
seemed to require no profanity or "bossing** to get the 
work done. 

While they are at work the company furnishes them 
camp cars in which they live, doing their own cooking at 
their own expense. These cars contain bunks, benches 
and tables. Some of them, at least, are kept clean and 
attractive. Mosquito netting covers the shelves where 
the food is kept, and the door leading into the sleeping 
quarters. The men find a good deal of fault with the 
American food, particularly our custom of having every- 
thing in "boxes." In Greece, they say, the food is always 
fresh, and meat is eaten immediately after it is killed. 
Our food is stale. In receiving visitors to their quarters 
they display the gracious and pleasing hospitality so 
characteristic q£ their race. 

The Greeks of Lincoln are a prosperous and well- 
contented lot. The City Charity Association has prac- 
tically no applications from people of this race. 



Economic Conditions 

THE Greek colonies which have been described in the 
preceding pages may be taken as representative of 
the life of the Greek population of the United States — for 
there is a remarkable homogeneity in the avocations and 
activities of this race all over the country. Chicago, New 
York and Lincoln are typical of much the larger class of 
Greek settlements; Lowell represents a minor, but impor- 
tant group of colonies located principally in the manu- 
facturing cities of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and 
Maine. The predominant industries of the Greeks in this 
country are those which we have found to characterize the 
three first-named cities, the management of candy kitchens 
and confectionery stores, ice cream parlors, fruit stores, 
fruit stands and push carts, florist shops, and bootblack- 
ing establishments. Stated concisely, the Greeks in this 
country are for the most part engaged in catering to the 
minor wants of a highly organized and differentiated in- 
dustrial population. A smaller number are engaged in 
a line of business which, though closely related to the 
others, has to do with the satisfaction of one of the major 
wants — ^the running of restaurants, lunch rooms and, to 
a less extent, hotels. 

The extent to which the Greeks have got control of 
the fruit and candy business in this country would be 
amazing if it were not so familiar to even the casual 
observer. It would be tiresome and unprofitable to 
attempt to give a list or even an enumeration of the estab- 



lishments of this kind operated by Greeks all over the 
country. Table 15 is taken from the Greek-American 
business directory given in the Thermopyls Ahnanac for 
1904, and shows the number of cities in the different states 
which according to this publication contain at least one 
of the kinds of shop mentioned, operated by Greeks. The 
similar directory, given in the Greek- American Guide for 
1909, contains so many names of Greek firms engaged in 
these businesses that it would be tedious to recount them. 
A few examples of some of the more important cities will 
convey the idea: Buffalo, N. Y., eleven confectioners; 
Birmingham, Ala., fifteen confectioners, thirty-three fruit 
dealers; San Francisco, Cal., seven confectioners, three 
fruit dealers; Atlanta, Ga., thirty-two confectioners, nine 
fruit dealers; Baltimore, Md., forty-one confectioners, 
etc. ; Boston, Mass., twenty-two confectioners, forty-three 
fruit dealers (about fifteen of these are said to be whole- 
sale) ; St. Louis, Mo., nineteen confectioners; Philadel- 
phia, nineteen confectioners, three fruit dealers; Mil- 
waukee, Wis., seventeen fruit and candy dealers, etc. 

In short, not only in the large cities but in the smaller 
towns and even villages the Greeks are approaching year 
by year nearer to a monopoly of this line of business. One 
grows to expect to find a Greek candy store in every new 
place he visits. The large place that confectionery sell- 
ing holds In the life of the Greek- American people is well 
illustrated by the large amount of advertising space 
devoted to this line of business in the Greek papers. (See 
Table 16.) In entering the fruit and candy trade the 
Greeks came into competition with other older-established 
nationalities, particularly the Italians, and almost uni- 
versally the Greeks have held their own, and usually dis- 



placed the others. One of the best examples of this is in 
Boston.* Fruit and candy are often combined in one 
store, as are also candy and ice cream. Flowers are some- 
times included in the stock of a candy store, but more 
usually sold separately. In the flower business, especially 
in New York, boys are extensively used in street selling. 

In seeking for the explanation of the predilection of the 
Greeks for these lines of business we get little light from 
a surrey of conditions on the other side. It is true that 
the Greeks are very fond of sweets, and are very skillful 
in their manufacture. But Greek sweets are mostly of 
a different nature from American candies, and the Greeks 
who are engaged in this business in the United States do 
not to any considerable extent come from similar occupa- 
tions on the other side. The principal explanation is to 
be found in the nature of the businesses themselves. The 
trade in fruit, candy and flowers is one which can be 
started with small capital and little experience, but can 
be expanded gradually until it reaches very profitable 
proportions. The average Greek immigrant does not 
bring enough money with him to establish himself in a 
fixed business. But he can buy a push cart, or even a 
small tray hung over his shoulder, on which he can place 
a small stock of sweetmeats or fruit, and stationing him- 
self on a street comer, begin doing business. Or if his 
resources and ability are still more limited, he can at least 
get hold of a few bunches of flowers, which he can offer for 
sale. Give a Greek a start in business and he will do the 
rest. However small his earnings he manages to save a 
part of them, and in the course of time he has amassed 
enough to enter on the second stage of the progression. 

* BuBhee, Ethnic Factors in the Population of Boston, pp. 67, 73. 



He gets control of a small sidewalk space and puts up a 
little stand where he can keep a larger stock of goods, 
and have a permanent location. From now on his advance- 
ment is rapid. Very soon he is able to rent a small store, 
with or without sidewalk space in front, and then it is only 
a matter of time and ability until he is operating a finely 
appointed store on one of the best streets of the city, or 
perhaps owns a chain of stores which ensure him the bulk 
of the trade of the place. 

Of course, many of the more recent immigrants are 
spared the first one or two stages, as the great majority 
of those who are coming now have friends already estab- 
lished in the business, who give them a place in their own 
store until they have saved enough to start in on their 
own responsibility. This suggests the second great expla- 
nation for the point under discussion. Given a number of 
Greeks already established in a certain kind of business 
and the later comers of the same race will follow their lead 
like a flock of sheep. As one intelligent Greek told me, 
a Greek is afraid to strike out into any field where no one 
of his people has preceded him. He himself had tried to 
establish a large meat farm. He came into conflict with 
the beef trust and his experiment cost him $10,000. It 
is the most natural thing in the world that immigrants 
coming to this country, ignorant of the language and 
customs, should take up departments of business in which 
others of their own nationality have succeeded, and in 
which many of their personal friends are engaged. 

The fruit business lends itself to the push-cart trade 
more readily than the candy business. But the latter is 
preferred by the Greeks, perhaps because of the less per- 
ishable nature of the goods, and it is the most important 



Greek industry in the country. One of the first Greeks, 
if not the very first, to establish himself in the candy busi- 
ness in the United States was Mr. John Frankopoulos, or 
^^Franklin," as he now calls himself. He started business 
in Boston where he still has a factory. His plan was to 
start branch stores in other cities and put them in charge 
of his friends. As the latter got the mastery of the busi- 
ness, he would sell the stores to them and start others else- 
where. At the present time he is said to own stores all 
over the country. Greek candy stores, wherever found, 
are apt to be quite uniform in type, perhaps because, in a 
sense, they all belong to one family. There are probably 
very few proprietors of such places who have not served 
an apprenticeship in a similar one kept by one of their 
fellow countrymen. Quite generally they contain facili- 
ties for selling ice cream and soda water, in addition to 
candy. Mirrors are very much in evidence, and the fur- 
nishings are* apt to be somewhat gaudy, but the public 
parts at least are almost invariably scrupulously clean, 
and the general appearance of the store attractive. These 
stores usually manufacture their own goods. One of the 
finest of these establishments is on the comer of Van- 
Buren and State Streets in Chicago. The appointments 
are all of the finest quality. A peculiarly dazzling effect 
is produced by a double string of many colored ribbons 
running in two directions over the face of the mirrors 
which line the walls of the room. This store combines all 
four departments of the business, fruit, candy, powers, 
and ice cream and soda. 

The best evidence of the quality of service rendered by 
the Greeks in these lines, is that they succeed. The Aiqer- 
ican people are not usually systematically defrauded in 





matters of this kind. Gknerally speaking, the confec* 
tionery business in this country is in much better shape 
than it was a few years ago. The flagrant abuses, such 
as the use of paris green as a coloring matter, have largely 
disappeared. Within the last few years there has been 
started a publication called "Purity," devoted to the in- 
terests of pure food. It contains a list of violators of 
food laws all over the country. In the files for 1908 there 
appear a number of cases of convictions for adulteration 
of candy, and while among them the names of some of 
the leading American manufacturers are found, there are 
no Greek names. Several state reports of dairy and food 
commissioners, etc., were also examined, but no Greek 
violators of pure food laws were found. As a concrete 
example I purchased nine samples of candies from four 
different Greek stores in New Haven, Conn., which were 
examined by the State Experiment Station, through the 
courtesy of Mr. J. P. Street and other officers. In select- 
ing the samples I took pains to choose cheap and, as far 
as possible, highly colored candies, as they would be the 
most likely to show any faults. Highly colored candies 
are by no means common, however, in these stores. The 
result of the examination was summarized by Mr. Street 
in the following words : 

"I found no mineral make-weight, no terra alba, barytes 
or similar material. The chocolate coatings in all cases 
were made of pure chocolate, that is, no iron salts were 
present. Several of the candies were colored with coal- 
tar colors, but the quantity of material did not permit of 
their identification, so I cannot say whether those used 
were harmful or not. It is probable, however, that the 
quantity present could have no injurious effect." 



Prophecy is at best a hazardous pastime, yet in con- 
eluding our discussion of this part of the economic life of 
the Greeks in the United States, we may say that the indi- 
tuitions are that if immigration from Greece should keep 
up at its present rate for twenty years to come, at the end 
of that period the candy business of the country, the soda 
fountains, and perhaps the fruit business, would be a 
Greek monopoly. 

In entering the restaurant business the Greeks are doing 
what might well be expected from their natural proclivi- 
ties. In their home country they attach great impor- 
tance to matters of diet and appear to be a nation of nat- 
ural bom cooks. The restaurants in this country are 
divided into two classes : those which cater to the America 
trade and are patterned after our own, and those which 
are made as nearly as possible like the eating houses in 
Greece, in order to attract the Greek patronage. The 
former are usually clean and well kept up. The latter are 
not always particularly inviting to a stranger. The 
Greek type of restaurant is probably the most numerous, 
though the other is beginning to hold a considerable place, 
especially in the southern states. The Greeks have thirty- 
six restaurants in Atlanta, Ga., where they are said to 
practically control the business. In Birmingham, Ala., 
there are twelve hotels and fourteen restaurants, in St. 
Louis, Mo., twenty-six restaurants, in Pittsburg, Pa., 
twenty-five restaurants, etc. There are also, all over the 
country, large numbers of Greeks working as waiters, 
cooks and dishwashers in hotels and restaurants run by 

The shoe-shining business, though more limited in its 
possibilities than the fruit and candy businesses, resembles 



them in the fact that it can be begun with small capital 
and little experience, and extended gradually. It differs 
from them in being especially adaptable to the padrone 
system. This vicious form of practical slavery has been 
largely developed by the Italians and takes its name from 
the Italian word '^padrone," or master. But it is also 
decidedly characteristic of the Greek nation. It may be 
briefly described as follows : 

A foreigner who has been in this country a few years, 
and has got some command of the language, and knowl- 
edge of the customs of the country, establishes himself in 
some business — the bootblacking trade, par excellence — 
in which he needs the assistance of a number of boys, who 
need have no special ability or training. Through means 
which will be described later, he secures from his home 
country half a dozen or more boys, who are under agree- 
ment to work for him for a specified length of time at a 
fixed remuneration. These boys are kept all together in 
a room, or suite of rooms, hired by the padrone. He fur- 
nishes everything except their clothes and shoes. In many 
cases he acts as the agent in practically every transaction 
which the boys have with t}ie outside world, such as pur- 
chasing goods, sending money home, etc. He thus has 
opportunity to defraud the boys to his own profit in a 
variety of ways without any restrictions save such as are 
placed by his own scruples — ^which are all too frequently 
wholly lacking. The boys are kept at work long hours, 
and thereby prevented from attending night schools or 
learning English in any other way. They are, therefore, 
unable to learn the customary wages or living conditions 
of the country, and work on year after year in ignorance 
of the injustices which they are actually suffering. 



This is the system which the Greeks have applied to the 
bootblacking trade in the United States, especially in the 
western states. It has reached its fullest development in 
Chicago, where the Greeks have a practical monopoly of 
the business, but it exists in many other cities in the Union, 
particularly in the Middle West. In New York and 
Boston the Italians are too numerous and too firmly in- 
trenched to allow the Greeks to have displaced them as 
yet. However, in both these cities they have made a good 
start, and if they do not get control in a few years it will 
be contrary to their usual rule. Like the candy stores, 
these shoe-shining parlors are of a uniform type all over 
the country. They are usually small store rooms, in good 
locations, fitted up with from a dozen to twenty chairs, 
electric fans, hat cleaners, etc. Very frequently tobacco 
is sold, and sometimes there is a barber-shop or pool hall 
in conjunction. In this business, as in so many others, 
the Greeks have proved themselves superior to the Italians. 
The shops are cleaner and better kept up. The boys are 
much quieter and more respectful, and do notf' J^blfer to 
each other in a foreign language, which is very annoying 
to an American patron. The Greek boys attend to busi- 
ness better and give a better shine than the Italians. The 
uniform price all over the country is five cents per shine. 

To get at the origin of this system among the Greeks 
in this country we must examine affairs in their native 
land. The bootblack is a prominent and familiar figure 
in Greece, not only in the larger cities, but in many of 
the smaller ones. With their characteristic fondness for 
dress and a fastidious appearance, the Greeks pay a great 
deal of attention to the neatness of their shoes. As the 
price of a shine is only one or two cents, even those in 




moderate circumstances can afford to have their shoes 
attended to quite frequently. Here the shining is done 
outdoors or in the coffee-houses; there are few, if any, 
indoor shining parlors in Greece. The bootblacks have 
a small box or chest in which they keep their brushes, 
pastes, etc. On the top of the box is a rest, where the 
patron places his foot. Some of the bootblacks carry a 
small chair on which they sit as they work. Athens and 
Patras contain large numbers of these small boys, or 
^^Xovorrpoi** as they are called. They are largely employed 
as errand and messenger boys, and bear a splendid repu- 
tation for honesty. The surprising thing, however, is 
that very few of them are natives of the cities in which 
they work. Ask a *'Xov<rrpos" where his home is, and with 
amazing regularity the answer comes, ^^Megalopolis.'* 
Further inquiry reveals a very interesting state of affairs, 
which deserves to be recounted in some detail. 

On account of the national dowry system which has 
been described above (see page S9), daughters in Greece 
are esteemed a burden, and their advent a misfortune. 
On the other hand, a boy is an asset, and is expected very 
soon to begin to contribute to the income of the family. 
In the central districts of the Peloponnesus, and especially 
around Tripolis and Megalopolis, the custom has grown 
up of expecting a boy -as soon as he reaches the age of 
ten or twelve to go away and begin to earn money to 
support his parents. These little lads are sent away to 
cities all over Greece, and the Greek cities in Turkey. 
They are employed in the coffee-houses and grocery stores, 
as well as in the bootblacking trade. The terms of their 
service are very hard. They are said to earn from $10 
to $S0 per year, in return for which they must work from 



six o'clock in the morning till twelve at night or even 
later, 866 days in the year. Their food is bread, cheese, 
and olives or sardines, with cooked meat once or twice a 
week. They are brutally treated by their employers in 
many cases.* 

Megalopolis is the center of this practice. There are 
plenty of small children in evidence on the streets of the 
village, but one ^(Micely sees a boy between twelve and 
eighteen. I was t9^ by an'yjnerican gentleman residing 
in Athens, that four or five years ago he had visited 
Megalopolis and found the town practically cleaned out 
as far as boys were concerned. A Greek from America 
had just been there, and had taken about 150 boys back 
with him. 

There are in the neighborhood of 1,000 of these little 
"AoiNrrpoi" in Athens, mostly from Megalopolis and the 
neighboring districts of Tripolis and Messenia. A great 
many of them, particularly the newcomers, are under the 
control of a padrone. These boys are customarily sold 
to the boss by their parents for the term of a year for 
200 to S50 drachmas. Different bosses have different 
arrangements with their boys. Some furnish everything 
that the boys need and require them to turn in all their 
earnings; others furnish sleeping quarters and perhaps 
part of the food, and require the boys to turn in one and 
a half drachmas each every evening, the balance of their 
earnings to be used for the rest of their food, and their 
other necessities. The term of service of these boys is 
seldom over a year or two. When they have learned the 
ropes, four or five or more of them will club together and 
hire a room for about fifteen drachmas per month, and 
* A. A. Seraphic PreUminary Report, Greek Bootblacks. 



go into business independently. They earn from two to 
three drachmas per day, and save about fifteen drachmas 
per month. They usually stop work about sundown. 
Their food is bread and cheese, and occasionally a tomato 
or something of that sort. I asked one of them how many 
times a day they ate. He looked rather surprised and 
replied, "Why, whenever we get hungry.** 

An evening school, called the "Ragged School," is con- 
ducted for these boys by the Parnassus Club, one of the 
fashionable organizations of the city. It is supported 
partly by subscriptions, but mainly from the proceeds of 
a grand ball given under the auspices of the Queen, the 
tickets for which are sometimes sold for as high as 100 
drachmas each. The teachers are paid, but the head of 
the school, who is an official in one of the banks, gives his 
valuable services free. There are about 700 boys in the 
school. They are taught writing, reading, grammar, 
letter writing and such elementary branches. When a 
visitor enters they are taught to hold up both hands and 
wave their handkerchiefs, to show how clean they are. 
The bosses allow the boys to attend these schools, from 
which many of them are graduates. Attendance at these 
schools is voluntary and there is no charge for tuition. 

The padrone system, then, has been long established in 
Greece. Nobody seems to see anything out of the way 
in the practice of requiring these small boys to support 
their parents — for even after they have started working 
independently their earnings all go home. One cannot 
help wondering if the old child tax, to which the country 
was subjected during so many years of Moslem control, 
may have had something to do with breaking down the 
bonds of family affection, and in causing the equanimity 



with which parents undergo separation from their ten- and 
twelye-year-old boys. And however one may despise the 
calloiis and indolent fathers, he cannot help admiring the 
brayery, industry and faithfulness of the little fellows, 
who start out to make a Hying for their parents at such 
a tender age. 

The eyils of the padrone system in Greece are limited 
by the fact that the boys are familiar with the language 
and customs of the country, and cannot be imposed upon 
to the extent that is possible in a foreign country .0 While 
the Hying apartments and food of the boys are far from 
what we would consider satisfactory, they are not particu- 
larly bad compared with the ordinary Hving conditions 
of the laboring class of the country, and the term of ser- 
vice is usually a short one. When transplanted to the 
United States, however, this system contains possibiUties 
of extreme abuse. The boys are unfamiUar with the 
living and laboring conditions in this country, and being 
ignorant of the language, they have no means of inform- 
ing themselves. They are kept closely confined to their 
place of business and sleeping quarters, and are very 
largely prevented from coming in contact with the Ameri- 
can world in which they are placed. They are practically 
at the mercy of their boss, and their treatment depends 
on his personal will and pleasure. The boss, on his part, 
is seldom inclined to use his power leniently, and the con- 
ditions resulting from this state of affairs have been so 
bad as to lead the United States government to devote a 
good deal of attention to the bootblacking trade in this 
country. The official interest in the matter is increased 
by the fact that many of these boys are in this country 
in violation of the contract labor law. For some years 



past the government has had a special immigrant inspec- 
tor, Mr. A. A. Seraphic, himself a Greek, whose main 
business has been the investigation of conditions among 
the Greeks in this country, particularly those engaged in 
the bootblacldng trade. From an unpublished preliminary 
report of his, kindly put at my disposal by Secretary 
Straus, much of the information contained in the follow- 
ing few paragraphs has been derived. Mr. Seraphic 
paints the situation in very dark colors, and it seems prob- 
able that his official interest in violations of law and op- 
pression may have led him to somewhat over-emphasize the 
evil conditions, and neglect to give their due place to those 
shops where the boys are more kindly treated. Yet gen- 
erally speaking conditions are undoubtedly bad enough to 
warrant a sweeping condemnation of the entire system in 
this country. 

The importation of Greek boys for this business began 
about twelve years ago, and has attained very considerable 
proportions as the large number of Greek boys who are 
admitted to this country — to say nothing of those who 
are debarred — ^under the age of fourteen indicates. (See 
page lis.) These boys are almost always secured with 
the consent of their parents. Sometimes the bargain is 
made directly with the parents, sometimes with the boys. 
Considerable use is made of the ^^Kovfiirdpoi" or godfather 
relationship, in securing the consent of the parents to 
let the boys go. A Greek from America will go back to 
his native village, and being a person of considerable 
importance, he can easily manage to stand godfather to 
a number of boys. Later on, he is able to make use of 
this relationship in bringing over boys whom he needs in 
his business. Sometimes the padrone pays a fixed sum to 


• •: 


• •r • 


• • 


tf • •• 


the father for the use of his boy for a fixed term of years. 
Sometimes he agrees to pay the boy's transportation, and 
give him a certain yearly salary as long as he works for 
him. These contracts are almost always oral, to evade 
the contract labor law. 

As soon as the boys arrive in this country, they are 
taken to the rooms of the padrone, which from this time 
on are to be their *%ome," and are at once put to work 
in the shop. Thus begins a period of practical slavery. 
The hours of work are very long — ^usually from six or 
seven o'clock in the morning until ten or eleven at night, 
or even longer.* In the large cities it is said that some 
of the padrones, to save rent, have the sleeping quarters 
of the boys at long distances from their place of business, 
so that the boys have to walk nearly an hour to their work 
in the morning and back again in the evening. This time 
is taken from their sleep. As a rule the boys have to 
work every day in the year, though some padrones give 
their boys, half a day, or even a day, off per week, and 
some close the shops on Greek holidays. Mr. Seraphic 
says that when he has won the confidence of the boys, they 
often plead with tears in their eyes for him to have the 
^^King" or President close the shops on Sundays. 

The sleeping quarters are usually sadly overcrowded. 
Three or four boys are kept in a small room, and some- 
times made to sleep in one bed. One little boy told me 
that in the house where he was kept there were fifty men, 
and they had to sleep five in a bed. The rooms are kept 
in a filthy condition, and there is no ventilation, so that 
the air becomes extremely vile. The boys usually do their 
own cooking and take turns at it, two by two. The two 

* Omaha Daily B««, June 10, 1908. 




boys who are appointed to do the cooking for the next 
day have to stay up the night before and wash the cloths 
from the shop. The breakfast is a very light one. The 
two boys who are left at home prepare a quantity of food 
in the morning. Half of it is taken to the shop for lunch, 
where the boys are compelled to eat hurriedly in the inter- 
vals of trade, in a rear or basement room. The other 
half of the food is warmed up for supper. This food is 
probably preferable to what the boys would get at home, 
at least in variety, but falls far short of the American idea 
of adequate nutriment. The charge is sometimes made 
that the bosses purposely refuse to allow the boys to attend 
the night schools in order to prevent their learning enough 
to become dissatisfied. Others say that the boys simply 
cannot be spared from the business. In either case the 
result is the same — ^the boys are prevented from coming 
in touch with American life, and learning American ways 
of doing things. The restricted life of these boys, and 
their close confinement to the shop and the rooms are 
appalling. Many of the boys endeavor to improve their 
minds, and one often sees those who are not working read- 
ing a Greek newspaper, or even spelling out the words in 
some simple English book. As a rule they are a patient, 
uncomplaining lot, though when one talks to them of their 
parents and their home country, the deep homesickness 
down in their hearts finds plain expression in their faces 
in many instances. The long hours, poor food, bad air 
and stooping posture of their work drive many of them 
into consumption and other pulmonary troubles. 

The wages of these boys are variously stated. Mr. 
Seraphic places the average yearly wage at from $180 to 
$175. Others put it considerably higher. (See pages 



151 and 160.) Probably taking the whole country into 
consideration the average wage of all boys employed in 
these shops would be in the neighborhood of $800, n 
including board and lodging, which are also furnished by 
the padrone.* Probably the bulk of these earnings is 
sent home to relatives in Greece. If the boys were allowed 
to keep the tips which they receive their earnings would 
be much greater. But in the great majority of cases this 
is not done.t Sometimes the original agreement with the 
boy or his parents provides that the boss shall keep the 
tips; sometimes he merely takes them. In some padrone 
houses the boys are searched when they come back from 
work, and any money they may have in their clothes is 
taken from them. So that the generous-hearted patron, 
who thinks that his extra nickel is helping along the in- 
dustrious little boy who has shined his shoes so well, in the 
majority of cases is merely contributing to the already 
large profits of the boss, and enabling him to extend his 
questionable business. The total amount of these tips is 
considerable. Mr. Seraphic states that they run from 
40 cents per day per boy in small places, to $1 or $2 per 
day per boy in the large cities. This is often enough to 
pay the salary of the boy and go a good ways towards 
covering his expenses also. The bosses are said to derive 
a clear profit of from $800 to $500 per year on each boy. 
The tipping system, combined with the abundant suppl 
of cheap labor, is the key note of the success of the boot- 
blacking business in this country as conducted by the 

Summing up this industry among the Greeks, Mr. 

* Omaha Daily Bۤ, June 9 and 10, 1906. 



Seraphic says, **The conditions now, although an improve* 
ment over what they were four years ago, are still so bad 
as to deserve unqualified condemnation." The question 
naturally arises, Why do the boys stand it? The answer 
has already been hinted at, and may be summed up in one 
word — ^Ignorance. These boys have no understanding of 
laboring conditions or rates of wages in this country, and 
with their lack of contact with Americans, are unable to 
get any. In general their condition, except in the matter 
of length of hours, is as good as they would expect on the 
other side. To be sure, the indoor work in this country 
is much worse for them than the outdoor life which similar 
occupations involve in Greece, but they do not know 
enough to know it. Their clothing is much better here 
than there, and their wages seem munificent. In fact they 
excuse the bosses for keeping their tips on the ground that 
the wages are high and expenses heavy. The padrones 
intimidate them by telling them that they are all violators 
I of the law, and that if they say anything the officials will 
get track of them, and put them in prison or send them 
home. So thoroughly are they imbued with this idea of 
silence that it is almost impossible to get them to make any 
complaints against their employers, and time after time 
attempts to get at the true condition of aiFairs and secure 
the boys justice, in various parts of the country, have 
been foiled by the absolute impossibility of getting any 
evidence from the only available source — the boys them- 
selves. When put on the stand, the boys flatly refuse to 
answer questions, and say that though their right hands 
were cut off they would not talk. This reticence is partly 
due to the suspicion of the motives of the investigators 
which the bosses have instiUed into their minds, and partly 



to a peculiar loyalty to the padrone and faithfulness to the 
terms of the agreement that characterize the whole class. 
And when a boy does get a command of the English lan- 
guage and a familiarity with the ways of the land, instead 
of turning traitor to the system, he simply goes into busi- 
ness on his own account, and puts the experience of his 
past years to profit. 

The statements of the padrones to the boys, that they 
are all law breakers, are well founded. Mr. Seraphic 
says that nine out of ten of these boys are in the country 
in violation of law. The two clauses of the law, which are 
particularly involved, are the provision regarding con- 
tract laborers and the clause refusing admission to alien 
children under sixteen years of age unless accompanied 
by one or both of their parents. In evading both these 
laws the Greeks display their characteristic cunning and 
unscrupulousness. As stated above, agreements between 
padrones and parents are almost always verbal. Any 
writing that has to be done is generally entrusted to a 
third person. The fact of the agreement is so carefully 
concealed that it is almost impossible to get any evidence 
of it. The boys are thoroughly coached before landing, 
and testify positively that they have no promise of work 
of any kind, but will take the first honest job they can find. 

The age law is evaded usuaUy in two ways — by fraudu- 
lent relationships or by false affidavits of age. Both are 
extremely difficult to detect. A crowd of Greeks starting 
from some interior village can easily arrange a scheme of 
relationship which will baffle the inspectors and answer 
every purpose. Oftentimes a boy will state that he is 
going to join a father, uncle or brother in some city of 
the United States, giving the full name and address. 



Correspondence sent to the address given is promptly 
answered, and the statements of the boy are substantiated 
in full. There is nothing to do but to let the boy in. 
One of the veteran inspectors told me of such a case, where 
the boy claimed that a certain man in St. Louis was his 
father. Authorities on Ellis Island at once telegraphed 
to the St. Louis man, asking whether the boy's statement 
was true, and received an affirmative answer. The boy 
was allowed to go on. But the suspicions of the authori- 
ties remained active, and my informant eventually made 
a trip to St. Louis to investigate the case. It was dis- 
covered that the presumptive father was no relation at 
all, but a padrone who was importing boys for his shop. 

The matter of the age of Greek boys has caused a great 
deal of trouble to the authorities in this country, not only 
on account of the immigration laws, but also on account 
of the child labor laws of various states. The boys them- 
selves will swear to whatever age is necessary to secure 
their admission or to make their employment legal in the 
place they are Uving in. If the minimum age of employ- 
ment is fourteen years, it is amazing how many Greek 
boys there wiU be just fifteen years of age. The expe- 
rience of officials in these cases has been such as to cause 
most of them to regard the affidavit of a Greek, in matters 
of this sort, as of absolutely no value whatever. Recourse 
has been had to the birth certificates sent from the officials 
in Greece, but these too have come to be regarded as 
wholly worthless. There is no official record of births 
kept in Greece, and the only source of authority as to the 
age of a child, is the baptismal certificate. But these are 
not kept with any degree of accuracy or uniformity. 
When the United States government wishes to ascertain 



the age of any Greek boy, the mayor of his village is 
asked to send a certificate. But this mayor is probably 
a personal friend of the family, or at any rate is anxious 
to please his constituency, and if he receives an intimation 
that the boy in question is supposed to be at least seven- 
teen years old, in a majority of cases he is ready to make 
the certificate out accordingly. One of the best-known 
Greeks in Lowell, a young man of high aims who is called 
on to do a great deal of interpreting, pulled out from his 
desk a big stack of yellow papers, all of which he said 
were false age certificates, and represented only a small 
part of what had come to him. Even a true certificate 
adds a year to a boy's age, for the Greeks in reckoning 
ages count the year upon which one has entered, instead 
of the one which he has completed. For these causes it 
is a very difficult matter to secure convictions on these 
counts. Nevertheless the strenuous eiForts of the govern- 
ment to check this practice have not been wholly fruitless, 
and a number of convictions have been secured. For 
instance, Mr. Seraphic in his report mentions eighteen 
indictments in Chicago, on the grounds of conspiracy and 
violation of section 8 of the Act of March 8, 1908 (con- 
cerning those who bring in aliens not lawfully entitled to 
admission). Of these, eight cases resulted in convictions 
with fines of from $25 to $500 and from thirty to sixty 
days in jail. Nine cases were still pending. Many 
would-be violators of the law have also been detected at 
the ports of arrival and refused admission. (See page 
116.) The report of the Conmiissioner-General of Immi- 
gration for 1904 (page 88) contains the following 
paragraph : 

[Violators of the contract labor law] ^*are divided into 



two classes. There are those who are brought to do work 
in this country for less than similar laborers here would 
charge for the same work, and there are those who are 
brought in pursuance of what is popularly known as the 
^padrone system' — ^in fact a system of peonage or slavery. 
A familiar instance of the latter class is found in the 
Greek bootblacking establishments scattered through our 
large cities, operated usually by Greek lads ranging from 

ten to eighteen years of age During the last four 

months of the year there arrived at the port of Boston 
alone 898 of these youths, 127 of whom were returned. 
.... The greatest care is exercised to stop these aliens 
and return them, both because of the inconsistency of the 
padrone system with those principles of freedom upon 
which our form of government is based, and because the 
importation of contract labor is forbidden." 

Our final judgment in regard to the padrone system 
can only be that it is a standing reproach to the Greek 
population of the United States, and a menace to the free 
labor principles of our country. 

Allied to the padrone system is the contract labor 
system as applied to the railroad laborers in the Middle 
West. Mr. Seraphic says that the majority of these 
laborers in Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas are imported 
in violation of the contract labor law. The system of 
procedure is somewhat as follows: A semi- Americanized 
Greek goes to a railroad company, and agrees to furnish 
a certain number of laborers. He then goes over to his 
own country and persuades fifty or one hundred men to 
accompany him back to America. He supplies them with 
prepaid tickets, and takes a mortgage on their property 
to the amount of two, three or four times the value of the 



ticket. He then brings them with him back to America, 
and makes them work for him seven or eight months for 
nothing, to repay him for an outlay of probably not over 
$100 or $125 each. In some cases an importer, who has 
taken mortgages far in excess of the amount he has 
expended, will arbitrarily discharge a crowd of men two 
or three weeks after he has brought them over, to make 
room for another similar set. Those whom he has dis- 
charged must find work for themselves somewhere to pay 
off their mortgages. The Greeks display a strange faith- 
fulness in paying off debts of this kind, no matter how 
badly they have been treated, even if the agreement was 
simply oral. Other agents or ^^interpreters'' pick up 
their men in this country, particularly in Chicago. The 
railroad company agrees to pay the interpreter a certain 
sum per man for a gang of forty or so men, and the inter- 
preter pays the men whatever he can get them for, usually 
sufficiently less to leave him a handsome margin of profit. 
Systems similar to the ones above described are in vogue 
in the fruit-peddling business in Illinois, and even in the 
factory industries of Lowell and the neighboring towns. 
In fact, one of the greatest indictments against the 
Greeks in this country — ^perhaps the greatest — ^is their 
habit of exploiting each other. When a Greek gets a 
certain mastery of American ways, the chances are that 
he will at once begin to put his acquirements to use in 
making money out of his less experienced countrymen. 
As has been seen, this may be done in a variety of ways. 
One of the immigration officials in Omaha told me that the 
Greeks never missed an opportunity to press any advan- 
tage of this sort. If a Greek who knows a little English 
sees a policeman engaged in some altercation with a Greek 



peddler or push-cart man, the former immediately encour- 
ages the officer to arrest the latter, and then offers to act 
as interpreter in order that he may get the fee. This is 
of course an unimportant case, but it well illustrates the 
attitude of mind. 

In evading the laws which prohibit these nefarious prac- 
tices, the Greek shows himself a master of every trick and 
artifice. False affidavits, assumed names, and plain lying 
are all used with the greatest effect. There is a little 
book published in Greek in Patras which contains full 
instructions as to the proper answers to make to the in- 
quiries of the inmiigration authorities, in order to best 
secure admission. When it comes to the question in 
regard to any promise of employment, it informs the inmii- 
grant that here is the place to be firm, and whatever the 
facts may be to put on a bold front, and answer that he 
has no idea of what he is going to do, but will take the 
first honest job he can find. A significant paragraph 
warns the immigrant to destroy the book before reaching 
the shores of America. 

It must not be assumed, however, because these prac- 
tices are characteristic of the race, that they are univer- 
sal. It is only justice to say that a large number of the 
more enlightened Greeks in this country are just as much 
opposed as anybody to these abuses, and are willing to do 
all in their power to stop them. 

The industries which have been described in the pre- 
ceding pages employ the great bulk of the Greeks in the 
United States. The class of occupations which ranks 
next in importance is that which we have seen exemplified 
in the case of Lowell, employment in factories. In these 
occupations the Greeks may be said to rank about on a 



level with the other nationalities among whom they work. 
Employers as a rule speak well of them as factory hands, 
though some of the factories in Maine have found them 
too excitable and unsteady to be good workers, and are 
turning them off. As far as the Greeks themselves are 
concerned, however, it would appear that factory employ- 
ment is the most disadvantageous of any of the charac- 
teristic occupations into which they enter in this country. 
It tends to crowd them together in unhealthy tenements, 
which they do not know how, or do not care, to keep in the 
most sanitary condition possible. It leads to the employ- 
ment of young girls in unhygienic factories. The close 
and dust-laden air proves disastrous to both old and 
young, accustomed as they are to the open air of their 
native fields and hillsides. In such employment there is 
not the same opportunity for advancement and material 
progress as there is when the Greek can employ his native 
talents in the prosecution of some independent business. 

In all these avocations, the Greeks display that remark- 
able adaptability and versatility which is so characteristic 
of the race. When it is remembered that practically all of 
them come from a purely pastoral or agricultural life, 
perhaps never having been in a city of 10,000 inhabitants, 
nor ever having engaged in any larger mercantile transac- 
tion than the sale of a few dollars' worth of farm produce, 
it is decidedly surprising to see them succeeding so well in 
the highly developed commercial life of our nation. 

Scattered over the country are small groups of Greeks 
engaged in a variety of miscellaneous occupations. On 
the shores of the Atlantic near Newport, and of the 
Pacific around San Francisco, are little settlements of 
Greek fishers. In Florida, with their headquarters at 



Tarpon Springs, is quite a colony of Greek sponge fishersy 
said to be the superiors in their line of any people in the 
world. The railroad workers who have already been 
mentioned in connection with the contract labor problem 
are a numerous body, and are considered very good work- 
men. In Utah there are a number of miners, while still 
further west, in California, the Greeks have become well 
established in the fruit-raising business. The steamships 
sailing to and from American ports carry a number of 
Greek firemen, and they are also employed in some sta- 
tionary plants on shore, where they are said to render 
excellent service. 

The number of Greek farmers in this country is sur- 
prisingly small, when their origin is considered. There 
are a few farmers around Boston, and very probably in 
other parts of the country, but they are so few as to 
attract no attention. The reasons for this state of affairs 
are probably that farming in this country as a rule re- 
quires a considerable amount of capital, and that no 
Greek has so far made a conspicuous success in this de- 
partment. One reason suggested by a thoughtful Greek 
seems to have a good deal of weight — ^namely, that igno- 
rance of the language makes it very difficult for a Greek 
to get a start in this direction, far away from others of 
his race. If a little farming colony of Greeks could once 
be well started there is every probability that it would 
succeed, and prosper, and increase. One enterprising 
Greek of Lowell, who has already been referred to, 
cherishes the idea of sometime securing a tract of land, 
say in Texas, and organizing such a colony. For the sake 
of the Greeks, as well as of our own country, it is to be 
hoped that this commendable plan will materialize. 



Social Conditions 

TN whatever occupations the Greeks enter, the majority 
^ of them are successful, at least from a pecuniary 
point of view. This is due both to their native business 
ability and to their thrifty, and more than thrifty, abste- 
mious, habits of life. The earnings of the laboring class 
are not large. As we have seen, factory hands earn on 
the average about $9 per week; boys in the shoe-shining 
parlors, about $200 per year and their keep; railroad 
laborers receive about $1.45 per day. The profits of men 
engaged in independent business of course vary, and any 
estimated average would have little significance* But 
however small the yearly receipts may be, the Greek almost 
invariably manages to save part of them, usually about 
half. Part of this money is laid away, but a goodly share 
is sent home. Various attempts have been made to estimate 
the amount of money that passes in this way from America 
to Greece each year. This is a difficult thing to accom- 
plish owing to the fact that the remittances are made in 
many difi^erent forms, postal money orders, checks, drafts 
and American paper money. Statistics of these matters 
are not carefully kept in Greece. Mr. Horton states that 
a conservative estimate places the amount of money sent 
from America to Greece in 190S at about $4,000,000 ; in 
1904, about $8,000,000. The postmaster-general of 
Greece, about 1906, estimated this flow of money at about 
$8,000,000, but as his only certain basis of judgment was 
the amount of the single item of postal money orders, 



which he reckoned as one-eighth of the total, his figure is 
hardly more than a shrewd guess. The director of the 
Tripolis branch of the Ionian Bank told me that the 
annual amount of money sent from America to Greece 
averaged in ordinary years about $49000,000, though in 
1908 on account of the crisis it fell off considerably. The 
post office in Tripolis received the following amounts in 
money orders from America in the years named; the 
approximate equivalent in American money is given : 

1905 918383.00 

1906 06,380.00 

1907 54^453.00 

1908 39,419.00 

Mr. Charles E. Speare in an article in the North Ameri- 
can Review estimates the total amount of money sent from 
the United States to Greece in this way at $5,000,000, or 
an average of $50 per capita. This is the highest average 
remittance of any of the nationalities mentioned in the 
article, the figures given for the other races being as 
follows: Grermans, $4.05; English and Irish, $7.14; 
Italians, $80.00 ; Slavs, $28.10 ; Russians, $14.80.* 

The career of many of the Greeks in this country is an 
interesting story of very rapid progress from penury to 
comparative afiluence. The New York Times of December 
16« 1907, gives an account of a Greek who came to St. 
Louis penniless, and started business as a push-cart man. 
In ten years he had amassed over $100,000 and left for 
his native land to start a bank. The individual story may 
or may not be authentic, but as a type it is true. Thirteen 
years ago a Greek immigrant landed in New York City 

* Quoted in the Report of the Ministry-at-Large, Lowell, Mass.* 
IQOTy page 8. 


with one franc in his pocket. At that time there were 
only about 800 persons of his nationality in the city. For 
the first few months he worked in a laundry, and then 
went into the cigarette business for a few months more. 
By that time he had managed to save enough money to 
start a little importing business on his own account. His 
first shipment was a little oil, a case of cheese, and one 
or two other small items of like nature. He now has a 
flourishing importing and grocery business, with two 
stores on Madison Street, and was president of the Greek 
Orthodox Community when the Greeks of the city were 
united. Not all Greeks of course have as prosperous a 
career as this; some do better, many worse. There are a 
few Greek firms in the country whose capital mounts well 
up into the millions, and there are many Greeks who are 
making the barest living. But practically every Greek 
in the country is self-supporting — either by his own labors 
or by the labors of others whom he controls. We have 
seen that in Chicago, Lowell, New York and Lincoln the 
Greeks are a negligible factor in the work of the various 
charitable organizations in these cities. The same condi- 
tions are found wherever inquiries are made. Even in the 
cities where there are the largest Greek colonies, applica- 
tions for relief from people of this race are almost un- 

Turning to the national aspect of this question we find 
the evidence the same. The publication of the Census 
Bureau on Paupers in Almshouses includes Greeks in the 
category ^^Other Nationalities," so that no information 
for our purposes can be secured from this volume. 
Through the courtesy of the officials of the Census 
Bureau, however, the complete set of the original schedules 



on which this report is based, were placed at my disposal. 
The figures given are for paupers in almshouses on Decern* 
her 81, 1908, when according to our estimate (see page 
111) there were about 85,000 Greeks in the country. On 
examination of these schedules it very soon became evi- 
dent that it was a waste of time to look over the reports 
for states where the Greek population was small. But a 
careful examination was made of the reports of a number 
of states, particularly those in which the great part of 
the Greek population was known to be gathered. The 
results of this inquiry are as follows : 

Nttmber of 
State Greek Panpers 

Alabama None 

Arisona None 

Aricansas None 

California 8 

lUinoifl None 

Colorado None 

Connecticut None 

Delaware None 

Massadinsetts 9 

Missonri None 

New York 1 

The report of the Commissioner-Greneral of Immigration 
for the year 1905 (pages 60-62) gives a series of tables 
showing the nationality of aliens detained in the penal, 
reformatory and charitable institutions of the United 
States. The total number of inmates was 44,986, of 
whom 108, or 0.2 per cent were Greeks. Of the Greeks 
twenty-one were in institutions for the insane, and forty- 
four in penal institutions. As according to our estimate 
there were in 1905 about 67,000 Greeks in the United 
States, this is a very creditable showing. 



In discussing the question of dependence, however, it is 
essential to bear in mind the sex and age distribution of 
the immigrants. This has been considered on pages 118 
and lis, where it was remarked that about 96 per cent 
of the Greek immigrants are males, and that nearly 90 
per cent are between the ages of fourteen and forty-five. 
Add to this the fact that most of the remaining 10 
per cent are boys under fourteen, brought over to do 
some form of productive labor, and it becomes evident 
that the body of Greek immigrants is an army of workers 
in the prime of life, with all the patently incapable indi- 
viduals weeded out by the severe selective processes of the 
immigration regulations. In such a body we should 
hardly expect to find a large proportion of dependents. 
Another circumstance tending to produce the same result 
is found in the fact that the great bulk of Greek immi- 
grants have been in this country less than five years. 
They have not had time to exhaust their youthful strength 
and energy, or to fall, in any large numbers, into disease 
or other misfortune. It is a well-known fact that the 
foreign-bom paupers in this country are almost wholly 
individuals who have been here a number of years. Of 
the foreign-bom paupers in the United States in 1900 
whose length of residence in the country was known, 96 
per cent had been here ten years or more.* In fact, this 
point is so fundamental that Mr. William S. Rossiter, the 
chief clerk of the Census Bureau, in discussing the favor- 
able showing made by the Greeks in this respect, expressed 
the opinion that statistics in regard to the dependence of 
so recently inunigrating a group of aliens as the Greeks 

*Ceii8iis PnbllcatloiiSy Panpers in Almshouses, page 101. 



were of practically no significance. That this is over- 
stating the case is shown by the fact that in a recent year 
7 per cent of the Jewish immigrants to the entire United 
States applied for relief at the office of the United Hebrew 
Charities within a few months after their arrival. Yet 
there is no doubt that length of residence is of vital im- 
portance in determining the liability of aliens to fall into 
dependence in this country. In this connection it is in- 
structive to examine the individual records of the eleven 
Greek paupers who are reported in the census schedules. 
Eight of these eleven paupers were in California insti- 
tutions. Here is a brief abstract of their record: 

C. S.^ age 62, years in U. S. SO, fisherman^ crippled, bed- 
ridden, paralytic. 

J. M., age 57, years in U. S. 10, fisherman, blind, bedridden, 

G. D., age 74, years in U. S. 5S, miner, able-bodied. 

S. J., age 75, years in U. S. 4>4>, sailor and odd- jobber, old 
and infirm, paralytic. 

C. D. B., age 7S, years in U. S. 48, sailor and miner, 
crippled, old and infirm, rheumatic. 

A. M., age 64, years in U. S. 27, fisherman, incapacitated 
for labor. 

A. G., age 65, years in U. S. 7, fisherman, feeble-minded, 
crippled, bedridden. 

G. M., age 66, years in U. S. 80, laborer, crippled, old and 

The two Greek paupers in Massachusetts were in the 
State Hospital at Tewksbury . Following is their record : 

P. L., age 28, years in U. S. 1, laborer, crippled, maimed or 

N. R., age 40, years in U. S. 2, laborer, rhemnatic. 



The one pauper in New York was an able-bodied youth 
of seventeen, a confectioner, who had been in the United 
States two years. 

This is too small a body of data from which to draw 
any definite conclusions with safety. But as far as the 
evidence of these records goes, it all leads us to expect that 
when the Greeks have been in this country a generation or 
so, there will be a much larger proportion of them de- 
pendent upon public charity. Another striking fact about 
these paupers is that they were all males. This might be 
expected when we consider how large a proportion of the 
Greek population of this country is made up of males, but 
it suggests that if the time ever comes when the Greeks 
begin to emigrate by families so that a man must support 
a wife and several children in addition to himself, there 
will probably be an increase in the dependence of this 
race. An interesting bit of contributory evidence is fur- 
nished by the cases of the Irish and Germans, both of 
which races are popularly considered superior to the 
**newer immigrants," but both of which have been in the 
United States much longer than the Greeks, Italians, 
Slavs, etc. The report on Paupers in Almshouses, 
already referred to, gives (Table 7) a total of S2,1S6 
foreign-bom paupers in the almshouses of the United 
States. Of these 7,477 were of Grerman origin, and 14,92S 
were Irish. Anyone looking over the census schedules is 
forcibly struck by the continual recurrence of names be- 
longing to ;these two nationalities. These facts admit of 
two interpretations: first, that perhaps these races are 
not so much superior, at least in a financial way, to the 
southern races as we are inclined to think; second, that 
their much longer average period of residence has largely 



increased their liability to dependence. There is probably 
a good deal of truth in both these explanations, but the 
latter is much the more important. To what extent the 
Greeks will follow in the footsteps of the older immigrants 
in the matter of dependence during the next thirty or 
forty years can only be conjectured. Whether they will 
have the ability, foresight and determination to lay up, in 
the years of prosperity, sufficient property to maintain 
themselves and their famiUes during the period of old 
age which is bound to come, or the temporary exigencies 
of sickness and misfortune, is something which time alone 
can tell. It seems probable that the great majority of 
them will, unless the money sent home is allowed to cut 
too heavily into their savings. 

For the present, at any rate, we can say that the Greeks 
in America are distinctly a self-supporting race. This is 
due in part to the conditions of age, sex and length of 
residence which we have just been considering, in part to 
their business ability and thrift, and in part to their in- 
born scorn of public assistance. Unfortunately it is also 
due in part to the extremely abstemious habits of life of a 
large proportion of them. The living conditions of the 
Greeks have been briefly considered in the cases of Chicago, 
New York and Lincoln, and described in detail in the case 
of Lowell. These cities may be taken as typical in this 
respect, as they are in others, of the other Greek colonies 
in the United States. The almost entire absence of family 
life among the Greeks in this country has already been 
commented on. There are less than five per cent Greek 
women in this country, and while a few of the men have 
married American women, their number is inconsiderable. 
The habitual custom of life for people of this race is for a 



group of men — ^four, five, six or more — ^to hire a room or 
a suite of rooms and use them as their common apartments. 
Part of the meals are frequently cooked in these rooms, 
and the rest — often aU — of the food is secured outside at 
restaurants. Coming from the outdoor, village life of 
Greece these men have no understanding of the funda- 
mental rules of hygiene, and either do not know how, or do 
not care, to keep their rooms in decent condition. There 
is very little ventilation either by day or by night. The 
food is often meager and lacking in nourishment. As a 
result of these conditions there is a great deal of disease, 
particularly tuberculosis, among the Greeks. It is a very 
common thing to meet in Greece men who have been in 
America a few years and have had to return on account of 
ill health. These living conditions in America are well 
understood in Greece, and deter some from coming. In 
many cases, however, America gets more blame than it 
deserves. Tuberculosis is becoming a very serious disease 
in Greece, and many of the men who return from the 
United States in a tubercular condition, already had the 
disease, or a tendency towards it, when they left their 
native villages. 

These conditions are, of course, found at their worst in 
the crowded sections of the large cities, particularly in 
the factory colonies. As the Greeks become Americanized, 
or scatter out into the smaller places, their living condi- 
tions improve. One of the Orthodox priests received me 
in a home which was as neat and attractive as could be 
desired. The life of the laborers on the railroads of the 
West is decidedly preferable to, and more hygienic than, 
that of the city dwellers. On the whole, it is safe to say 
that in the matter of living conditions the Greeks are 



more cleanly and in general more respectable than the 

In endeavoring to ascertain the criminal record of the 
Greeks from a national point of view I had similar advan- 
tages to those which were accorded me in the investigation 
of pauperism ; the original census schedules for penal in- 
stitutions were put at my disposal* The four states, Cali- 
fornia, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York were chosen 
for examination as they contain the bulk of the Greek 
population. The figures are for the admissions to the 
various penal institutions for the year ending December 
81, 1904, when, according to our estimate, the total Greek 
population of the United States was about 45,500. Dur- 
ing that year there were two Greeks admitted to the 
penal institutions of Cahfomia, one for infamous felony, 
sentence four years ; one for counterfeiting, sentence one 
year. Three Greeks were admitted to the Illinois insti- 
tutions. One of these was for manslaughter, sentence in- 
determinate; the second for receiving stolen property, 
sentence sixty days; the third for mayhem, sentence six 
months. The Massachusetts institutions received only one 
Greek, charge, indecent exposure, sentence two years. The 
New York institutions received thirteen Greeks during the 
year in question, with charges as follows: Assault, six 
months; false citizenship papers, thirty days; vagrancy, 
six months; two cases counterfeit money, one month and 
$100 each; disorderly conduct, one month; liquor law, 
twenty days; canying weapons, four cases, two days 
each ; petit larceny, thirty-six days ; violation penal code, 
six months. 

This makes a total of nineteen admissions to the penal 
institutions of these four states, in which in the year in 


qaeddon there were, according to the Thennopyl« Ahna- 
nac, S9,796 Greeks altogether. This is a very insignifi- 
cant number of criminals, and it should be noted further 
that the majority of the offenses were of a minor nature. 
The report of the Commissioner-General of Immigration 
for 1905 in the tables already referred to (see page 194) 
records forty-four Greek criminals in the penal institutions 
of the United States, of whom nineteen were committed 
for grave offenses and twenty-five for minor offenses. It 
thus becomes plain that grave offenses, leading to peni- 
tentiary sentences and other heavy punishments, are rare 
among the Greeks. We have already seen from the ex- 
amples of Chicago, Lowell and New York that minor 
offenses are extremely common. The evidence from New 
Haven is the same. Out of a very small Greek population 
in this city there were fifteen arrests between January 1, 
1907, and October 81, 1908, but the heaviest punishment 
in any case was a fine of $10 and costs. 

The police records of Boston furnish a very interesting 
commentary on the nature of Greek criminality. The 
following table gives the number of arrests of Greeks in 
that city for the years 1902-1907 inclusive: 

Year 1909 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 

Arrests 987 SIS 384 348 SSO 978 

As the number of arrests remained nearly constant 
while the total Greek population of the city was increasing 
from a few hundred to 2,000 or more, there is evidence of a 
decided decrease in criminal tendencies among these people. 
This corresponds with what we have found to be true in 
the other cities which we have examined. A further evi- 
dence, along with a suggested explanation, is furnished by 



Mr. Buflhee in his work on the ^Ethnic Factors in the 
Population of Boston." On page 98 he gives a table 
showing the average percentage of arrests to the total 
population of each nationality for the years 1894, 1895 
and 1896. This is reproduced here for purposes of 


City (total) 8.9 

Portugal 3.7 

Germany 4.9 

Russia ^'^ I A fl 

Poland 7S\ 

United States 7.1 

British America .8.1 

France 11.6 

England 11.8 

Sweden 11.8 

Italy 19.1 

Scotland 14.0 

Ireland 16Ji 

Norway 90.1 

China 65.1 

Greece ^^9Ji 

The total Greek population at this time was about 107. 
Mr. Bushee goes on to say (page lOS) : 

"On the average every Greek in the city is arrested 

over three times in a year Neither nationality 

(Greeks or Chinese) is made up of such abandoned 
criminals as the figures would seem to indicate, as the 
criminal records of both cease almost entirely at the police 
courts. The explanation is simple : the Greeks are nearly 
all peddlers, and many among them take the risk of 
peddling without a license, with the result that a wholesale 
arrest of peddlers takes place until all have obtained their 



licenses. In the case of the Chinese the explanation is to 

be found in their love of gambling The Italians 

are responsible for a larger amount of serious crime than 
any other nationality excepting the negroes." 

In regard to the Greeks in this country we may say in 
general that while they very seldom commit serious 
crimes, they appear to have no particular respect for law 
as such, and the number of minor offenses committed by 
people of this race is probably greater, in proportion to 
their total population, than that of any other foreign 
nationality in the country, and very much greater than 
that of the native-bom. As we consider the nature of 
these offenses, and the marked decrease in criminality 
among the Greeks which the statistics uniformly indicate, 
we are led to the conclusion that crime among the Greeks 
is largely a matter of economic position. When the 
immigrant first comes to this country his one thought is 
to save money. He enters some trade which brings him 
into conflict with the city ordinances. Perhaps he is a 
push-cart man and takes the chance that the fines that 
he may have to pay for selling without a license will not, 
in a year, amount to so much in the aggregate as the 
original cost of a license. Or he may J^ a mere peddler 
of flowers or other goods and. be arrested for making a 
stand in the street. Or again his offense may be for 
violation of the sanitary code in the care of the miserable 
room which he has chosen to live in. As he progresses 
financially, and becomes established in a permanent busi- 
ness, and improves his quarters, these temptations dis- 
appear, and his face is no longer seen in the police court. 
To be sure, there is a host of newcomers every year to 
take the place of those who have moved up, but the general 



average length of residence of the Greeks in the United 
States is increasing year by year, and with it the average 
of business prosperity is also increasing. There is reason 
to hope that with the passage of the years the criminal 
record of the Greeks will come to compare more favorably 
with that of our other foreign populations. 

A class of offenses which perhaps ranks second among 
the Greeks to violations of the corporation ordinances, 
and in some cases is included under corporation ordi- 
nances, is that designated as disorderly conduct. In this 
case, too, an extenuating circumstance is found in the 
extreme natural excitability of the Greeks. A noisy 
altercation which disturbs a whole block, and seems to the 
police officer to threaten a fatal culmination, may be the 
friendliest kind of an argument. The police officer of 
course cannot get at the true nature of the case and the 
whole lot are taken off to the police station. As the 
Greeks become more Americanized this class of offense 
may also diminish. 

Juvenile deUnquency is very rare among the Greeks, as 
might be expected from the fact that the number of chil* 
dren among them is very small and that most of these are 
employed all day||^d part of the night under strict super- 
vision. In the census schedules for institutions for delin- 
quent children in the states of California, Illinois, Massa- 
chusetts and New York, taken December SI, 1904, there 
appear the names of only two Greek children, one a boy 
of eighteen who had been in this country seven years, 
arrested for burglary, the other a lad of fourteen, in this 
country four years, arrested as a disorderly child. Gren- 
erally speaking, juvenile delinquents among the foreign- 
born are a minor element. On the other hand, there are 



a very large number of this class of offenders among the 
native-born of foreign parents. This fact should give 
us food for thought, when we reflect on how enormous this 
class of our population is becoming. 

The statistics of pauperism, crime, etc., for Greeks are 
given a slight element of uncertainty, or inaccuracy, by 
the difficulty of determining certainly the race of many 
of the offenders. Ordinarily, the reports give the nativity, 
not the race, of the individuals concerned, and as many 
of our Greek immigrants are bom in Turkey and in other 
countries outside of Greece, it is not always possible to 
determine the race of a small number of those concerned. 
Foreigners will frequently prevaricate in regard to their 
race, for purposes of their own. In the midst of the 
Italian colony of Jersey City and in Inwood, L. I., there 
are colonies of people who call themselves, and are called 
by their neighbors, "Greeks," though they come from 
Central Italy, and are apparently of Albanian origin. 
But these uncertainties are in no case probably of suffi- 
cient weight to affect our general conclusions, as the great 
body of Greek immigrants still come from Greece proper. 

In respect to the vices of drinking and gambling the 
Greeks maintain much the same character in this country 
as in their home land. GambUng is very prevalent among 
them and many of the arrests, which we have seen to be 
so frequent, are connected with this practice. In the 
matter of drink, their habits suffer a slight deterioration. 
In the place of the light wines of their native land, some 
of them substitute beer, and occasionally whiskey. But 
for the most part, Greeks in this country exercise an 
admirable degree of control in the use of intoxicants, and 
intemperance is far from being a prevalent evil among 



them. The coffee-house fills the place of the saloon as a 
social center, and coffee prepared in the Turkish style is 
still the favorite beverage of the Greeks. Tobacco is 
used very generally in this country, as in the home land. 

When we turn to sexual immorality, however, it appears 
that the effect of American life upon the immigrants is 
injurious, rather than the reverse. This is in part due, 
no doubt, to the fact that the Greek colonies are largely 
composed of young men, freed from the restraints of 
family ties and the surroundings of home, where the close 
watch kept upon the women prevents active immorality 
to a large extent. Through the scarcity of women of 
their own race these young men in America are prevented 
from contracting marriages in a normal way. Further- 
more, the liberty of American life in regard to the rela- 
tions of young people is construed by the Greeks as 
license. The innocent, friendly comradeship of young 
people of opposite sexes is something so foreign to their 
experience that they do not understand it. The keeper 
of a hotel in Tripolis, commenting on the undesirable 
conditions in America, included among them the freedom 
with which young boys and girls were allowed by their 
parents to go out together. Unfortunately, the women 
with whom the average Greek in this country has the 
opportunity to become familiarly acquainted, are not 
usually such as to raise his standard of morality or his 
opinion of womankind. It goes without saying that 
those Greeks whose circumstances throw them into contact 
with the better classes of American society are profited 

As was remarked in the discussion of the aspect of this 
matter in Greece, it is almost impossible to get data which 



will furnish absolute proof of the state of affairs. It 
mast be said, however, that indications point to the con- 
clusion that the sex morality of the Greeks in this country 
stands in need of much improvement. Among these indi- 
cations the two following may be cited. In many of the 
coffee-houses of the Madison Street settlement in New 
York there are openly displayed advertisements of a 
Greek clinic, claiming explicitly to cure the most virulent 
of venereal diseases. Out of 1,887 square inches of adver- 
tising space in two ordinary issues of the Atlantis (see 
Table 16), ninety-three square inches, or about one 
fourteenth, were devoted wholly or in part to the cure of 
private diseases. The physical condition of a large 
number of the young men returning from this country 
to Athens and Patras is said to be deplorable in the 

As we have already seen in so many instances, the old 
factiousness still asserts itself in this country in affairs 
between Greeks, and sadly interferes with the harmony 
which the wide interests of the race in this country 
demand. There must, however, be a marked improve- 
ment in the matter of commercial honesty, for no people 
could continue doing business in America so successfully 
as do the Greeks, and keep up the underhanded practices 
which characterize commercial o{)erations in their native 
land. On the whole, the Greeks are more industrious and 
painstaking in this country than at home. 

Aside from their commercial enterprises the Greeks as 
yet have not entered largely into the social organization 
of this country. As already remarked the number of 
Greek men who have married American women is insignifi- 
cant. Greeks do not enter to any extent into the activi- 



ties of the social settlements in our cities, and onlj 
slightly into the work of the Young Men's Christian Asso- 
ciation. In religion, they keep themsdves almost wholly 
separate. As soon as a Greek colony reaches 400 or 500 
in number it sets about making arrangements for an 
Orthodox church. A building is rented or built and a 
priest secured from the home land. There are at present 
about thirty-six of these churches in the United States, 
located as follows: Atlanta, Ga. ; Baltimore, Md. ; Bir- 
mingham, Ala. ; Boston, Mass. ; Buffalo, N. Y. ; Chicago, 
HI. ; Cincinnati, Ohio ; Detroit, Mich. ; Galreston, Texas ; 
Haverhill, Mass.; Indianapolis, Ind. ; Los Angeles, Cal. ; 
Lowell, Mass.; Lynn, Mass.; Manchester, N. H. ; Mil- 
waukee, Wis.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Nashua, N. H. ; 
Newark, N. J.; New York, N. Y. (two); Omaha, Neb.; 
Philadelphia, Pa. ; Pittsburg, Pa. ; Portland, Ore. ; Provi- 
dence, R. I. ; Pueblo, Colo.; St. Louis, Mo.; Salt Lake 
City, Utah ; San Francisco, Cal. ; Savannah, Ga. ; Seattle, 
Wash.; Sheboygan, Wis.; Springfield, Mass.; Washing- 
ton, D. C* About fifteen of these own their buildings. 

The priests are supported by the contributions of the 
congregations and receive from $60 to $100 per month 
salary, and various perquisites which sometimes amount 
to more than the salary. The decorations and fittings of 
these churches are made to resemble as closely as possible 
those of the churches at home, and as a rule the priests 
keep up the old habit of wearing the hair and beard long, 
and dress in the orthodox style. OccasionaUy a priest, 
or a part of a congregation, becomes progressive and 
liberal, and then there is trouble. Many of the bitterest 
dissensions which mar the life of the Greeks in this country 

* Greek-American Guide, 1009. 



arise over religious matters.* Protestant Greeks in the 
United States are a negligible quantity. 

Along with his church the Greek demands his news- 
paper. It is doubtful if there is another foreign nation- 
ality in the United States that publishes so many news- 
papers in its own language, in proportion to its total pop- 
ulation, as the Greeks. There are at present about six- 
teen of these newspapers, two daily and the rest for the 
most part weekly, published as follows: New York, four, 
Boston, two, Lowell, one, Pittsburg, one, Chicago, four, 
San Francisco, two, Salt Lake City, one, Lynn, one. 
There is also a commercial review and a monthly magazine 
published in New York.t 

Outside of the coffee-house the Greek has few amuse-/ 
xnents. The customary recreation centers are little pat- 
ronized by him, and athletics receive slight attention. 

No large proportion of the Greeks have as yet become 
citizens of the United States. One prominent Greek said 
that possibly one fourth of the total number were natural- 
ized citizens, but this is probably an over-estimate. There 
are said to be about S,000 naturalized citizens in New 
York City, 284 in Lowell, and from 100 to SOO in Boston. 
Almost all of them adhere to the Republican party, 
believing that its policies are most favorable to the com- 
mercial advancement of the nation. Socialism finds no 
followers among the people of this race in the United 
States, though it is beginning to get a slight foothold in 
Greece. Greeks are apparently not inclined to join trade 
unions, partly because there are comparatively few of 
them who are laborers in unionized trades, partly because 

*See the WssIOy New9 and Cowrier, C!harle8toii» S. C^ Jvly 11, 1908. 
t Greek-AmeTican Guide, 1909. 



they prefer their own organizations, and partly because 
they are not wanted by the unions. 

The slight interest of the Greeks in political affairs in 
this country is rather surprising when it is compared with 
the keen interest taken in such matters in Greece. It was 
explained by a well-informed Greek in this country, on the 
ground that the Greek came to this country imbued with 
the idea that too much politics was one of the causes of 
the difficulties of his own land. More than this, the 
Greek has a profound respect for ilie ability of the Ameri- 
can citizen, and regards him as much more capable of 
running the country wisely than he himself is. Aside 
from the inclinations of the Greeks, one patent reason 
why there are so few naturalized citizens among them, is 
that the majority of them hare not been in the country 
long enough to become citizens. The rery general inten- 
tion to return eventually to their native land probably 
has much to do with it also. (See page Sll.) The 
Greek is very proud of his native citizenship and is not 
anxious to give it up. 

For many years it has been the practice of Greeks 
living in Turkey to come to the United States with the 
express purpose of taking out citizenship papers and 
returning to their old home, there to carry on business 
under the greater protection which their American citizen- 
ship gave them. I knew personally of one young man of 
a wealthy family who came to this country and entered 
one of our leading scientific schools. He frankly admitted 
that his main object was to secure American citizenship, 
and the advantages which it would bring him in the man- 
agement of his estate. Another instance which was 
brought to my notice was that of a young man from one 



• • 

• • 


• •. 

• • • 

• •• • 

• • • 


of the islands, to whom a business opportunity presented 
itself in Turkey. He came to this country and worked 
as a servant in a prirate family and in a club, with the 
avowed purpose of securing citizenship, so that he could 
take up this opportunity under better conditions. An 
effective check to this practice was put by the provisions 
of the Act of March 8, 1907, which stipulate that any 
naturalized citizen who resides in the country from which 
he came for two years, or in any other foreign country 
for five years, thereby forfeits his citizenship. 

A few years ago it could be said with truth that prac- 
tically every Greek who came to the United States had the 
intention of returning after five or ten years to his native 
land. They came in order to earn and save enough 
money so that they could go back home, and either estab- 
lish themselves in some easy business, or else, if they were 
especially fortunate, settle down to a life of indolence and / 
ease. But this is changed now. The Greeks who went ' 
home after a few years' residence in the United States 
were not content. Having tasted the keen life of this 
country, they could not be satisfied elsewhere. So the 
majority returned to America again, this time with the 
intention of settling down permanently. Their example, 
along with the increased knowledge of American conditions 
in Greece, inspired many of their fellow countrymen to 
look to America as the place where they wished to cast 
their lot permanently. Today, a very large proportion 
of the Greek immigrants to America, those who cross the 
ocean for the first time as well as those who have been 
here before, come with the idea of making this their home 
as long as life shall last. Instead of speaking of their 
native land with proud patriotism, they all too often char- 



acterize it as a poor and miserable place, and many a 
profane Americanism is ostentatiously displayed to show 
the scorn they fed for it. 

As we have seen, a small number of Greeks hare attained 
a position of eminence in the financial life of this country. 
Very few, however, have achieved any wide influence in 
the realm of literature, the arts, or the learned professions. 
Probably the most illustrious Greek citizen this country 
has ever known was Mr. Michael Anagnostopoulos, or 
Anagnos as he was commonly known. He was for many 
years director of the Perkins Institution for the Blind in 
Boston, and it was under his supervision that Helen Keller 
was educated. He died about three years ago in Europe. 


PART in 


. • > 


Effects on the Immigrants 

THE discussion of the effects of Greek immigration 
falls of its own accord into three parts — the effect 
on the immigrants, the effect on the land from which they 
come» and the effect on the land to which they go. The 
consideration of the first of these can be little more than 
a summary of much that has gone before. We have 
already followed the immigrant into his business, into his 
home, into his social and religious life, and have seen how 
he fared in all these departments of his life. All that we 
can do now is to gather together our conclusions in a few 

Financially, practically every Greek finds his life in 
America an improvement over the one he left. He earns 
more money and is able to save more. He has much 
greater opportunities of establishing himself in a perma- 
nent and lucrative business. Many Greeks who would 
never have escaped from the hoe or the shepherd's crook 
in Greece, become prosperous business men in America. 
A few save enough in a few years to assure them a com- 
fortable living and a position of influence and respect if 
they return to their native land, as a small number do. 
The nimiber who fail to make a living in the new country 
is exceedingly small. 

As far as the actual comforts of life are concerned, how- 
ever, the situation of a large body of the Greeks in this 
country is decidedly inferior to that from which they come. 
Instead of the clear, pure, invigorating atmosphere of 
their native hills, they breathe the vitiated air of a store, 



shop or factory. Instead of a day of leisurely and inter- 
mittent toil, with an hour or two of siesta after the noon 
lunch, there is a long stretch of eight, ten, or, in the case 
of the bootblacks, fourteen or fifteen hours of steady labor. 
\ The food in the new home is perhaps more rgned, but in 
many cases it is not so fresh nor so well suited touie Greek 
palate, as that to which the inmiigrant was accustomed at 
home. The living and sleeping rooms in the old home 
were bare and perhaps dirt-floored, but they were at least 
clean and well cared for, whereas the new quarters are 
unkempt and filthy. The social relaxation of the coffee- 
house is still available, but it lacks the picturesque out- 
door features that add so much of charm in the old coun- 
try. Very many Greeks have separated themselves from 
wives and children. Either they lack the means to bring 
them over, or they are unwilling to call them to this coun- 
try until they can assure them a well-appointed and com- 
fortable home. In any case they do not even see them 
for five or ten years, and are deprived of all the comforts 
and pleasures of family life. The unmarried young men 
do not have the opportunity to meet girls of their own 
race, or in most cases, worthy women of other races, and 
so are denied the opportunity of securing wives. 

As a result of these conditions the health of the Greeks 
in many cases suffers a decline. This may be due either 
to undesirable food and living conditions, to the un- 
hygienic conditions of their daily toil, to change of 
climate, or to vicious practices. In many cases the morals 
also suffer, on account of the unwonted freedom of Ameri- 
can life, and the customary use in this country of strong 
intoxicants in the place of light wines. Religious observ- 
ances are as a rule weU kept up, and any relaxation in the 



direction of greater freedom is just as likely to be for the 
better as for the worse. 

To the question that naturally arises. If all this be so, 
why do the Greeks continue to come and stay in»^uch^reat 
numbers? the one great answer is, Money. Money making 
is a ruling passion among the Greeks, and the opportu- 
nities of gratifying it are much greater in the United 
States than in Greece. There is scarcely a Greek in the 
• United States who does not earn more money than he did, 
or could reasonably hope to, in Greece. The unfortunate 
conditions which we have been discussing are not due to 
lack of money, so much as to the extreme privations which 
a Greek is willing to undergo in order to send money home 
for the purpose of buying land, building a house for his 
parent?, providing dowries for his daughters or sisters, 
putting up a bell tower on the village church, or paying 
off the debts of himself or his family. The gratification 
that comes from so doing outweighs a multitude of hard- 
ships. A minor reason for the willingness of Greeks to 
enjoy fewer comforts in this country than in the home 
land is that the rushing, varied, active life of the United 
States is peculiarly attractive to the Greek spirit. As 
some one said, ^^As soon as they hear that there are trolley 
cars over here, they all come." In the districts in Greece 
from which emigration has taken place for a number of 
years, the evil conditions of the Greeks in the United 
States are very weU understood, and undoubtedly deter 
many from coming. But in the mind of the average 
peasant the stream of gold, which he can see so plainly, 
outweighs the disadvantages which he has only heard of, 
and each one hopes that he will be one of the ones who win 
success in the new home. 




It hardly need be said that these unfortunate conditions 
are by no means universal among the Greeks in this coun- 
try. They exist most fully in the consolidated Greek 
colonies, where the dwellers have little opportunity of 
coming into any social relations, or even business rela- 
tions, with American people. How complete is this isola- 
tion may be inferred from the fact that, though the 
Greeks are supposed to be quick at languages, it is the 
exception to find a Greek who hasjbeen in the United 
States five or even ten years who can speak English even 
tolerably well. The Greeks who prosper most, financially, 
socially, morally, and intellectually-^those to whom the 
change of residence is a real advantage — are those whose' 
circumstances lead them away from the settlement, and 
throw them into contact with the better classes of Ameri- 
can citizens. And there is a goodly number of these. 

It is to be hoped that as Greeks more and more come 
here with the intention of remaining permanently, and 
those that are here give up their idea of returning, there 
will be an increase of family immigration, which will alle- 
viate many of the evils that now exist. 

In regard to the general prosperity of the Greeks in 
this country the Greek- American Guide for 1909 contains 
the following pessimistic and somewhat exaggerated 

**What Do the EiaoRAKTs Gain? Do the Greek emi- 
grants in America gain anything? How much do they 
gain, and how? We think that in regard to both of these 
questions their compatriots in Greece and elsewhere have 

* Page 38. The word ''gain" as used in this paragraph should be 
taken in the sense of earning or getting, rather than that of securing 
an advantage. 


.% • 

• • 

t •, 

• • 

► •• • 

• • • 


a decidedly mistaken idea. Of course there are, as we 
have said above, a number of the older emigrants, who 
after many years of toil and labor have established and 
maintained certain profitable businesses or enterprises and 
now make a comfortable living, although not as much as 
they seem to in Greece. But these are few, and the whole 
must not be judged by a small part. The newer emi- 
grants, with a few exceptions, gain nothing at all, or at 
least gain very little, and that by the strictest economy 
and excessive labor." (Translated.) 



Effects on Gseece 

EARLY in the twentieth century when emigration from 
Greece to America began to assume considerable 
proportions it aroused universal consternation in the 
minds of the Greek authorities. The country was 
alarmed as it saw its working force drawn off to serve 
the needs of a foreign land, and the government began to 
consider measures to check the movement. As the years 
went by, however, and the stream of remittances began to 
flow in, opinion gradually changed, and people began to 
feel that, as long as the money was spent in Greece, it did 
not much matter where it was earned. This state of mind 
has generally continued down to the present time, and 
even the intelligent members of the Greek populace regard 
the depopulation of their country with an amazing degree 
of complacency. Within the last two or three years, 
however, especially since the crisis in America cut down 
the remittances, there has grown up a party of opposition 
which controls a large part of the Greek press. Even so 
late as the winter of 1908-09 the newspapers of Athens 
contained frequent paragraphs such as the following: * 


120,000 Unbmplotsd 

" According to recent statistics there are in Chicago about 
120,000 laborers miemplojed. Of these 6,000 are drivers, 
8,000 carpenters, 25,000 bricklayers, 7^000 iron workers, 
12,000 waiters in restaurants and hotels, 8,000 mechanics and 

* Translated from the '^Kairoi," Athens, Jannaiy 8^ 1909. 



firemen^ 50,000 to 60,000 unskilled laborers ; 50,000 of these un- 
employed laborers have families and their wives and children 
suffer with them. 

" The economic crisis of the working classes, on account of 
these conditions, has reached the extreme limit." 

American officials in Greece express the opinion that 
there is government influence back of these utterances. 
In fact, late in the fall of 1907, the Ministry of Internal 
Affairs issued a circular to the provincial authorities call- 
ing attention to the depressed state of affairs in America, 
and ordering them to use every means to check the current 
of emigration. The crisis was generally exaggerated in 
Greece, and it was said that America had *^gone bank- 

The effects of emigration upon Greece are in the main 
connected with two phenomena — ^the influx of money from 
America, and the withdrawal of the laboring force from 
the country. In regard to the former of these, it may 
at first seem surprising to an American that the small 
sum which, as we have seen, covers the amount of the 
annual remittances (see page 191), should exercise such 
a profound influence on the economic situation in Greece. 
But a moment's consideration will make this plain. 
Suppose we set the figure for the average annual amount 
of money sent from the United States to Greece at 
$5,000,000. The general imports into Greece in 1905 
amounted to $27,170,639, and the exports to $16,096,184. 
In 1906 the imports were $27,800,868 and the exports 
$22,788,161. It thus appears that the amount of money 
flowing into Greece each year, without any corresponding 
outgo, is in the neighborhood of one quarter of the tota 
amount which the country receives for its exports, and is 




enough to pay for nearly one fifth of its imports. This 
makes it plain why the money from America exercises so 
great an influence on the progress of affairs in Greece. 

The effects of this inflow of money have been already 
touched upon in our preliminary survey of the economic 
conditions in Greece. (See Chapter IV.) Perhaps the 
foremost among them is the remarkable fall in exchange. 
This has had the undesirable effect of temporarily increas- 
ing to a large extent the cost of living for the average 
citizen of Greece, but if it ultimately results in putting 
the currency of the country on a sound basis, it will serve 
a very useful purpose. Another beneficial result which 
has followed this inflow of money has been the paying off 
of a large number of real estate mortgages. The Secre- 
tary of the Interior told me that large sections of Greece 
had been wholly freed from incumbrances through this 
agency. The rate of interest has also fallen decidedly, 
until now, in some sections, private individuals lend money 
at lower rates than the banks. 

Turning now to the injurious results of American 
money in Greece, we note first of all that it has had, and 
has, a very demoralizing effect upon the industry of the 
country. The Greek loves both the appearance and the 
fact of leisure, and is all too ready at best to give up 
labor and spend his days in the coffee-houses and on the 
promenades, smoking and talking politics, as soon as the 
opportunity to do so presents itself. The abundant sup- 
plies of money which are coming into the country without 
labor, encourage this tendency and help to make possible 
its fulfillment. The Greeks who come back from America 
wi£h their fortunes made increase this idle class and help 
to inculcate the love of indolence in the youth of the land. 



These factors have contributed to that peculiar stagna- 
tion, mentioned in the quotation on page 70. As a result, 
Athens and the Piraeus are the only cities in the kingdom, 
with the exception of Volo, which have grown appreciably 
in recent years. The others have remained nearly, sta- 
tionary, and Syra is said to have gone down sadly. If 
this money were applied to the development of productive 
industry, the results would be more favorable. But unfor- 
tunately it is not. Aside from what is spent in freeing 
the land, and paying debts, the majority of it is used in 
furnishing dowries for the girls, in building fine houses^^'^^ 
in erecting bell towers and clocks on the churches and' 
monasteries or putting up new church buildings, occa- 
sionally in some public project like building a road, and 
often in making possible a life of luxury as mentioned 
above. The Greek newspapers in America like to under- 
take a subscription for some public purpose. For in- 
stance, the Atlantis is conducting a campaign among the 
Greeks in America to raise money for the purchase of a 
man-of-war for the Greek navy. The amount contributed 
for this purpose up to April 20, 1909, was $30,500.44. 

Probably the greatest injury wrought by American 
money in Greece is in augmenting the fever for emigration. 
In 1906 Mr. Horton wrote* in his annual report, ''It is 
almost impossible to find a young man or boy in the vil- 
lages or on the farms who does not live in hopes of getting 
away to America as soon as possible." There is no factor 
which contributes more powerfully to this result than the 
constant stream of gold from America. The following 
sentence, translated from the Greek-American Guide for 
1909 (page 39), is taken from the paragraph on ''The 
Causes of Emigration,'' and expresses the idea forcibly : 


(( n 

^Such a one from such and such a village sent home so 
many dollars within a year,' is heard in a certain village 
or city, and the report, flashed from village to village and 
from city to city and growing from mouth to mouth, 
causes the farmer to desert his plow, the shepherd to sell 
his sheep, the artisan to throw away his tools, the small 
grocer to break up his store, the teacher to forsake his 
rostrum, and all to set aside the passage money so that 
they can take the first possible ship for America and 
gather up the dollars in the streets before they are all 

An examination of the statistics of population of 
Greece reveals the extent to which the withdrawal of young 
men has gone. Greece is one of the few countries of 
Europe where the male population is considerably in excess 
of the female. The following table shows the relation of 
these two groups at the time of the last two censuses : 


Total Population 



of Males 











The first thing that attracts the attention on looking 
at these figures is the small increase in the total popula- 
tion, only 188,446 in eleven years as compared with an 
increase of 266,298 in the seven-year period from 1889 
(when the total population was 2,187,208) to 1896. The 
next important fact is the decided decrease in the excess 
of males, showing the sex from which the bulk of the emi- 
grants have been recruited. We have already seen that 
about 85 per cent of the Greeks in America are males 
between the ages of fourteen and forty-five. This would 

* The Blight discrepancy between the total and the sum of the two 
Hems is characteristic of Gredc statistics. 



be about 127,500 individuals. Now in a normal popu- 
lation in such a country as Greece about 400 out of 1,000 
of the total population are in this age group.* That is 
to say, that out of the 1,824,942 males in Greece in 1907, 
about 529,776 should be between the ages of fourteen and 
forty-five. Comparing this with the number in America, 
and allowing for a slight increase in the population of 
Greece between 1907 and 1909, we see that between one 
fourth and one fifth of the working force of Greece are in 
America. This is merely the roughest kind of an esti- 
mate, but it will serve to show how deeply the population 
of Greece has been affected by emigration. The surprising 
thing is, that the results on the agriculture and industry 
of Greece have not been more disastrous than they have. 
As yet, the withdrawal of so large a body of the youn 
men has not caused any appreciable decline in the culti- 
vation of the soil. It is true that the currant industry is 
in a depressed condition, but there are other causes for 
this (see page 76), and while at present the removal of 
the working class undoubtedly contributes to this re- 
sult, it was originally a cause and not a result of 
emigration. The explanation lies in the fact that the 
women have taken hold of the work. The peasant women 
of Greece are strong, sturdy, healthy and accustomed to 
hard work, and they have gone into the fields and taken 
up the hoe and the plow, and are carrjring on the agricul- 
ture of the country, perhaps not quite so well as the men, 
but well enough to save the crops from ruin. They have 
also entered many other departments of manual labor. 
Mr. Nathan saw girls of fourteen and fifteen breaking 
stone by the roadside near Sparta, and I saw some not 

* See Bailey, Modem Social Conditions, page 76. 



much older carrying mortar and stones for a new build- 
ing in Megalopolis. In a large limestone quarry in the 
environs of Athens, I saw a number of women engaged in 
filling baskets with the broken rock and emptying the 
heavy loads into carts. I asked one of them how much 
she earned a day and she replied, *^One drachma.'' To 
my next query as to the number of hours she worked per 
day, her reply was, "From sunrise to sundown." 

Recently, also, large numbers of Albanians and others 
from the countries to the north have been brought in to 
do the field labor, and in the vineyards around Patras one 
frequently sees large gangs of these motley nationalities 
working under the direction of a Greek boss. The 
scarcity of laborers has produced a slight rise in wages 
which, of course, benefits a small number of those who 

m Within a year or two there has api>eared to be a spread 
of the white slave traffic in Greece, and the large number 
of girls who are left unmarried by the exodus of the young 
men is held partly accountable for this unfortunate con- 
dition. One rather amusing effect of emigration, bene- 
ficial at least from the point of view of Greece, was men- 
tioned to me by Mr. Nathan. On a recent trip to Sparta 
he entered into conversation with the chief of police of 
the district, and the officer remarked that since emigration 
had been so large Sparta had changed from a very turbu- 
lent locality to one of the quietest places imaginable. In 
fact, he said that not only his own district, but Greece 
in general, seemed to be pretty well rid of her more vicious 

One other effect which has alarmed the authorities to 
a considerable extent is the marked decrease in the number 


of recruits for the army. This is something which comes 
close to the heart of the nation, and it, probably more 
than any other one factor, contributed to the appointment 
by the legislative chamber of a committee to investigate 
the whole matter of emigration, and recommend any 
changes in the laws which seemed desirable. This com- 
mittee reported on July 12, 1906. The report begins 
with a statement of the difficulty of obtaining data on 
which to base conclusions, owing to the inadequate manner 
in which statistics of this kind are kept in Greece. Then 
follows a review of emigration in general. The statistics 
contain so many manifest inaccuracies as to be wholly un- 
trustworthy, and the discussion is on the whole rather 
puerile. An idea of its nature may be gained from the 
fact that one of the principal grounds, on which is based 
the estimate of the amount of money sent home from 
America, is the lamentable fact that in 1906 in the space 
of three months 120,000 francs in checks were stolen from 
the mail in the district of Lacedemonia! Little is to be 
gained for our purposes from the study of this part of 
the report. 

Twenty pages of the report are devoted to the text of 
an emigration law proposed and recommended by the com- 
mittee. Only a few sections of it are of especial interest 
to us. Emigration is proclaimed to be free under the 
prescribed limitations. The principal ones of these are 
as follows: Males from the age of nineteen years to the 
completion of the age of active military service are 
required to secure permission from their nomarch before 
leaving. Those belonging to the reserve force are free 
to depart but must give notice in writing to the authori- 
ties. Children under the age of sixteen, of both sexes, are 



forbidden to emigrate unless accompanied by their father, 
or haying permission from their father or guardian. 
Provisions are made to prevent the enslavement of boys, 
or the deportation of girls for immoral purposes. Pro- 
vision is also made for the protection of emigrants from 
the devices of unscrupulous agents, and for their safety 
and comfort on the voyage. This law was not passed and 
since that time httle has been done toward regulating 

Perhaps there is no better way to gain a concise idea 
of the effects of emigration upon Greece than to take a 
brief trip to one or two of the districts from which emi- 
gration has been the heaviest and of the longest duration. 
Let us imagine that we are just starting out on such a 
trip, and that we have chosen as our destination Tripolis 
and the region round about. We leave Athens a little 
before seven o'clock in the morning, and for the sake o^ 
the local color travel in the third class. In our com- 
partment are a couple of men whose clothes have a dis- 
tinctly American character. They recognize us at once 
as Americans, and engage us in conversation in broken 
English. When they learn that our destination is Trip- 
olis they at once become interested and from that time on 
take charge of us, offering to share their food with us, and 
giving us many suggestions as to where to go and what to 
do. One of them lives in Steno, a little village near Trip- 
olis. He has been for nine years in Chicago, where he 
had a fruit store. He has made his small fortune and is 
coming back to Greece to spend the rest of his days with 
his family, whom he has not seen since he left. The other 
man has spent fifteen years in Chicago, where he stiU owns 
a grocery store on the comer of Polk Street and Blue 


•• •• 

• • • 

• •• 

• ••• 

a • • • • 



ad Avenue. He is now enjojing a life of repose and 
ie in the capital. The train jogs along, following the 
oast line closely, over a well-built road bed. We pass 
through Eleusis, now a poor Albanian village, from which 
very few have gone to America. A little later we go 
through Megara, one of the largest cities in this part of 
Greece, typically old-fashioned in the architecture of its 
buildings, and the character of its people. Out of a popu* 
lation of about 7,000 it is said to have sent 1,000 to 
America. On both sides of the track there is a succession 
of olive orchards, vineyards and rocky pastures where 
flocks of sheep and goats are feeding. Soon we come to 
the Isthmus and cross the Corinth Canal on an elevated 
bridge. After a brief stop at Corinth we begin our incur- 
sion into the Peloponnesus. The road climbs up through 
wild but beautiful scenery. We soon begin to see signs of 
emigration in the frequency with which women appear 
working in the fields. The barren and precipitous moun- 
tains all around us, and the immense windings which the 
railroad makes in traversing them impress us forcibly 
with the tremendous difficulties of communication in this 
part of Greece. Ere long the. road begins to descend once 
more and we find ourselves in the fertile plain of ArgoUs. 
But our climbing is not done. The rest of the journey to 
Tripolis, which we reach about the middle of the after- 
noon, is one long ascent. 

Tripolis, Ijring at the edge of a high, fertile table-land, 
is an attractive, thriving city. The business and social 
life of its people centers around the public square, on one 
side of which stands a fine church, the other sides being 
enclosed with arcades. In the streets which run out from 
it the trades and businesses of the citizens are more or 



less centralized. One street is given up to iron-workers' 
shops, another to dry goods stores, there is an open fruit 
market, and a semi-open meat market. The streets are 
for the most part narrow, and the houses, though built 
of stone, are old-fashioned, but the city is well lighted with 
electricity. The population of the city and the sur- 
rounding villages is of a fine type. The men are hardy, 
vigorous and active, and the women especially are sturdy 
and well-built, with strong, handsome, square faces. 

As we talk with the hotel keepers, the business men, the 
carriage drivers, etc., we find that "America" is a house- 
hold word, familiar to every tongue. On every hand we 
meet men who have been in America. The storekeepers 
call out to us, "Come on, boy," and as we sit in the hotel 
office in the evening we have numerous callers. One is a 
baker in Springfield, Mass., one has several sons in Ogden, 
Utah, and one young man, whose fine face and pleasant 
bearing testify to a beneficial experience, says he has left 
a job in a mill in Pittsburg to come home and serve in the 
army. Economic conditions in America, and particu- 
larly the situation of the Greeks, are well understood by 
these men. They talk intelligently of the crisis in the 
United States — and well they may, for on the outskirts 
of the city stand the foundations of a fine large church, 
upon which work has had to be stopped until the remit- 
tances from America begin to come in again. 

But to see the efi^ects of emigration at their best we 
must take one or two small trips out into the neighboring 
villages. On one of these excursions we stroll through the 
villages of Tegea, Achouria and Piali. Everywhere there 
is a scarcity of men, especially young men. Occasionally 
a grizzled old peasant will be seen watching a flock of 



sheep, or driving his donkey to mill. But the young men 
are not to be seen. Everywhere there is the impression 
of desertion. The houses are closed and the streets 
vacant. In the fields women and young children are dig- 
ging wild bulbs with heavy iron hoes, perhaps watching 
some sheep or goats as they dig. These bulbs they will 
sell to the restaurant keeper in the city for a trifling sum. 
We approach one or two of these groups of women to 
speak with them, but they flee from us like wild things. 
Near the village we pass an unusually fine-looking house. 
We accost the woman seated at the door, and she tells us 
with pride that the house was built with money which her 
sons have sent her from America. 

From here we go on to Tsipiana, a compact little vil- 
lage nestling in a valley between two towering, rocky 
mountains. We enter the coffee-house for a moment of 
rest, and are followed by a crowd of forty or fifty curious 
observers. As we take in the composition of the group, 
we realize that they are all old men and boys, with perhaps 
a soldier and schoolmaster of middle age. We ask them 
what is the population of the village, and one of them 
replies, "Twenty-five hundred or three thousand, but seven 
or eight hundred of them — all the young men — are in 
America." Every boy has a brother or cousin in the far- 
away land, where he himself intends and expects to go 
just as soon as he gets old enough. They are a curious, 
good-natured crowd, and follow us in our explorations of 
the village, exhibiting shyly the text-books from which 
they are learning English, and the watches and fountain 
pens — ^neither of them in running order — ^which they have 
received from America. They point with pride to the 
$2,000 clock in the tower of the monastery on the hill, 



paid for with American money. If we get into conyer- 
sation with any of the young women, which is difficult to 
do, we must avoid the mention of sweethearts unless we 
wish to tread on tender ground, for it is a standing joke 
with a rather bitter flavor around here that there are no 
men to marry the girls. 

On our way to the coast we stop for a few hours at 
Megalopolis, the great supply center for the bootblacks 
of the Greek world, as well as for America. It is an un- 
prepossessing little town, which has the misfortime to 
possess the ruins of an old theater. This attracts 
numbers of tourists, and the people of the town have as 
a result lost the frank and courteous curiosity which was 
so pleasing in Tsipiana, and have become covetous, im- 
portunate, and impertinent. We can detect somewhat of 
a difference between the appearance of this town and that 
of those we have just left. Here the great dearth appears 
to be in boys between the ages of ten and twenty. There 
are plenty of small boys, many of them with their boot- « 
black kits. There are ako men of middle age, sitting^dly 
in front of the coffee-houses, doubtless supported by4lie 
labors of hard-working little lads in Athens, Patras-or ( 
the United States. There are evidences of considerable ««. 
prosperity in the town, for pretentious n^w biSISngs%fe 
going up on every street and, as we are inibirnKTlney 
are planning to put a marble curbing'^^arouiKflK entire 
square. Along the country roads wolfi^Jmd small boys 
are driving horses and donkeys^ jpnd from town, and 
in the fields tiny maidens watdP^he flocks of sheep, or 
carry bundles of brushwood on their backs. 

The American traveler in Greece can hardly escape the 
nviction that the enormous onigration movement is 



threatening the yery life of the nation. That there are 
no more pronounced effects observable as yet, is due to the 
fact that the movement is still not half a generation old. 
There are still women left to till the fields, and old men 
and infants to tend the flocks. But with the girls remain- 
ing unmarried, the old men dying off, and the boys all 
leaving for America, the future looks very dark. The 
unborn generation seems already doomed. At present 
there are no signs of an amelioration of circumstances. 
It is true that the crisis in the United States checked the 
movement for a time, but with the resumption of business 
in America, the spring of 1909 has witnessed a greater 
madness for emigration in Greece than ever before. The 
extreme conditions which we have observed in the villages 
around Tripolis, and which exist in much the same degree 
&TQgfd Sparta, are becoming more and more conmion and 
widespread in every part of the Greek world. It is no 
exaggeration to say that if emigration keeps on at its 
present rate of increase, as it promises to do, within 
twenty years Greece will be completely drained of its 
natural working force, and the population will consist of 
a few old men and a host of old women and middle-aged 
spinsters. It is possible — ^and from the point of view of 
America desirable — that as the years go by, the immi- 
grants will begin to bring their women with them, or send 
for them a few years after arrival. But this promises no 
relief for Greece. 

The shocking indifference to the whole matter which is 
displayed by the average Greek is based mainly on one 
fact and two theories. The fact is the narcotic influence 
of the stream of American gold. The theories, in the 
truth of which the Greek firmly believes, are, first, that 



the great body of emigrant Greeks will sooner or later 
return to their native home, and second that ^ when they 
do come they will be ^'educated," and will beeome centers 
of enlightenment, uplifting influences, teaching their 
countrymen progressive methods of business and agricul- 
ture, and putting the industry of the country on its feet. 
The falsity of the former of these assumptions we have 
already seen. The second is perhaps even more mis- 
taken. Far from settling down to lift up their fellow 
citizens, the few Greeks who do return are on the whole 
a restless and discontented lot, and before long the ma- 
jority of them break loose once more and go back to 
America for ever. Of those who remain, very few accom- 
plish anything in the way of productive labor themselves, 


not to speak of educating their neighbors. If they have 
made their small fortune in America they are content to 
spend it in the way that will entail the least exertion. If 
not, they can always find some one among their relatives 
who is glad to support the eminent traveler from America. 
Stop at random one of the young fellows who call out to 
you as you go by, "Hullo, boy! Whu yu go'n, ChoUy?" 
and ask him what he is doing now, and the chances are 
that his reply will be: "Oh, nothing now. I was in 
America four years, but my health was not very good 
there, and so I came home, and just at present I am not 
doing anything." The Greeks in America are on the 
whole an industrious lot, but when they go back they 
seem all too often to be even more indolent, vain and im- 
pertinent than they were before they left. They seem 
to catch the spirit of whichever country they are in. 

We do not wish to be too harsh in this condemnation. 
There is a reverse side to the shield, but it must be con- 



fessed that it appears to be a very small one. A shining 
example of the admirable application of American ad- 
vantages is furnished by the little village of Tsipa down 
on the Laconian coast. Its brief history is as follows : 

One of the most picturesque figures in modem Athens 
is that of old Dr. Kalopothakes, a Protestant missionary 
and pastor, of long and noble service. When his son 
reached college age, he was sent to America and entered 
Harvard College, from which he graduated with a fine 
record. He returned to Greece, and a few years ago 
went down into Laconia, his father's native home, and in 
a sheltered little bay near Limeni erected an up-to-date 
olive press. He installed a fine steam plant, built a com- 
fortable and well-appointed house for his own use and 
altogether put up a very complete and efficient establish- 
ment for the production of olive oil. When he went there 
his house was the only one there. Now there is a very 
flourishing little village. The peasants have learned the 
advantage of having him press their olives for them, and 
the enterprise is of benefit and profit both to him and them. 
Mr. Kalopothakes has taught the peasants the value of 
Sunday observance and honest dealing, as well as of up- 
to-date business methods. All up and down the coast his 
name is spoken with respect. 

If such an example as this were only followed more 
universally, the whole aspect of Greek emigration would 
be different. 



Effects on the United States 

THE discussion of the effects of Greek immigration 
upon the United States must of necessity be merely a 
forecast, and a rather unsatisfactory one at that. The 
annual Greek immigration as yet bears such a small pro- 
portion to the great current of the total immigration, 
and the total Greek population of the United States is 
such an infinitesimal part of the whole, that it is not to 
be expected that these people should have made a very 
definite impress on the life of our great nation. More 
than this, the movement from Greece to the United States 
is of altogether too recent origin for its ultimate effects 
even to have begun to be apparent. One of the com- 
monest errors of writers on sociological topics is to allow 
too little time for the action of social forces. We are 
inclined to think that the effects of a certain social phe- 
nomenon, which we are able to detect in our lifetime, are 
the permanent and final effects. We forget that these 
matters may require many generatioiw to work themBely« 

No better illustration of tiiis could be asked for than 
that furnished by the case of the negroes in the United 
States. The importation of these people began many 
generations ago. To our ancestors it undoubtedly 
seemed a perfectly natural thing to do, and for centuries 
it did not occur to anybody to even question its rightful- 
ness or its expediency. When objections began to be 
raised they were feeble and easily put aside. But at last, 
the presence of this peculiar class of people in the country 



inyolved the nation in a terrible and bloody conflict, which 
worked irreparable injury to the American stock by the 
annihilation of the flower of southern manhood, and left 
U8 a problem which is probably the greatest one before 
the American people today — one which we haye hardly 
begun to solye. There is much of similarity between the 
case of the negroes and that of the modem immigrants. 
To be sure, the newcomers of today are for the most part 
white-skinned instead of colored, which giyes a different 
aspect to the matter. Yet in the mind of the ayerage 
American, the modem immigrants are generally regarded 
as inferior peoples — races which he looks down on, and 
with which he does not wish to associate on terms of social 
equality. Like the negroes, they are brought in for 
economic reasons, to do the hard and menial work to which 
an American does not care to stoop. The business of 
the alien is to go into the mines, the foundries, the sewers, 
the stifling air of factories and work shops, out on the 
roads and railroads in the burning sun of summer, or the 
driying sleet and snow. If he proyes himself a man, and 
rises aboye his station, and acquires wealth, and cleans 
himself u]>— yery well, we receiye him after a generation 
or two. But at present he is far beneath us, and the 
burden of proof rests with him. 

The parallel need not be carried further. But is it too 
much to say, that the problem of the immigrant is as yet 
in the yery embryo, and it may well be a hundred years 
before the nation begins to pay the penalty for the mis- 
takes that we are making today, in the regulation and 
treatment of our alien population? 

In its broadest aspect the discussion of the effects of 
Greek immigration upon this country would be but a part 



of the consideration of the general effects of all immi- 
gration. It is far beyond the scope of this work to even 
touch the border of this tremendously important, perplex- 
ing and many-sided problem. As for the Greeks them- 
selves, the most we can do is to review the considerations 
which have gone before, and seek to determine the prob- 
able outcome'^of the tendencies which we have discerned. 
For this purpose, the reader who has in mind the discus- 
sions included in the preceding pages, has practically the 
same data as the writer. 

If the supposition so prevalent in Greece, that all the 
Greeks in the United States will return to their native 
land in the course of a few years, were true, our problem 
would be merely the discussion of the value to our nation 
of a temporary laboring force, imported for a few years 
from a foreign country, and returning thither again 
after their prime was past. This is a matter for indi- 
vidual judgment, though there would be many patent 
advantages about such a system. But as we have seen, 
we are not dealing today with such a class in the case of 
the Greeks. They are coming here to stay — to establish 
themselves in business, and make this their home. 

In regard to their economic avocations, as we have seen, 
the prospects are that within a generation or less the 
Greeks will practically control the candy, ice cream, fruit 
and bootblacking businesses in the United States, and wiU 
have a strong hold on the restaurant business. To this, 
in itself, there will hardly be objections, so long as they 
carry the business on honestly and respectably, and render 
good service, as they seem to. But the padrone system 
and contract labor system, which are at present bound up 
with some of these industries, are a menace to some of our 



most cherished ideals, and unless our Greek population can 
and will rid itself of this reproach, it would be better if 
every one of them, who has any connection with these 
practices, were driven from our shores. 

As factory workers, it can hardly be said that the 
Greeks have as yet had any effect upon the country, except 
to add a rather troublesome element to the population of 
some of the cities in which they settle. In the railroad 
work, and in miscellaneous occupations, the Greeks are 
merely a handful among our great laboring class, doing 
their work with average ability and faithfulness. 

As a factor in the charitable work of the country, the 
Greeks cut no figure. Practically every one of them has 
his own means of support, and they are no burden to the 
community. Whether this state of affairs will change 
as time goes on, time alone can tell, though the indications 
are that it will not to any great extent. 

The criminal record of the Greeks is less favorable. 
While there are few major criminals among them, they 
are probably a greater tax on the police courts of the 
country, in proportion to their total number, than any 
other class of our population. But their record for the 
past decade gives us ground for hope that the years will 
bring an improvement in this direction. But it seems 
likely that the presence of this race in the country will 
add to, rather than diminish, the growing indifference to 
law as such, which is one of the most threatening signs of 
the times. This lack of reverence for law, and every 
form of authority, seems to be characteristic of the chil- 
dren of immigrants of every race. But the Greeks appear 
to have it when they come. What the character of their 
children will be in this respect we can only conjecture. 



The sums of money sent home each year are relatively 
too insignificant to be of any importance to this country. 
Politically, the only effects the Greeks have had is to add 
a slight increment to the Republican party. In Omaha, 
not long ago, this party was accused of making use of the 
Greeks fraudulently to increase their voting list.* In the 
wider and higher social and intellectual life of the country, 
as we have seen, the Greeks as yet have taken little part. 

Table 17 gives the figures for the international com- 
merce between Greece and the United States for the decade 
1898 to 1907. There is a considerable increase in the 
imports from Greece, particularly in the last two years. 
The exports to Greece show little change until the last 
year of the period when there is a very sudden rise. The 
increased immigration undoubtedly accounts largely for 
the increase in imports, as it creates a greater demand for 
Greek products. The rise in exports may be explained 
by the establishment of the Austro-American steamship 

The great question which, in the case of the Greeks, as 
well as of every other class of our alien population, is of 
vital importance and interest to the country, is, Will they 
make good citizens? The answer to this depends prima- 
rily upon one's individual opinion of what is a good Amer- 
ican citizen. Some writers go so far as to intimate that 
there is no such thing as a distinctive American citizen. 
A large proportion of our population seems to look upon 
the ideal American citizen as the man who tends strictly 
to business, makes money, lets other people severely alone 
and expects them to do the same. If we adopt this point 
of view, we can have little hesitation in saying that the 

* Morning World-Herald, Omaha, October 99, 1908. 



Greeks answer the requirements, for as we haye seen, they 
are distinctly a money-making class in this country, and 
if some of the methods by which they do it wiU not bear 
investigation — that is nobody's business, according to the 

But if we look at the matter more broadly, and think 
of the ideal American citizen as one who has the higher 
and better interests of himself, his neighbor and his coun- 
try at heart, and who beUeves that he ought to contribute 
to the general betterment of his community during his 
lifetime, and give at least as much as he gets — from this 
point of view the answer to the question is much less cer- 
tain. In this respect, the effect of the immigrant upon 
the country is the effect of the country upon the immi- 
grant, viewed from a different angle. If the immigrant 
finds his change of residence an advantage, if he prospers 
morally and socially as well as financially, the chances are 
that he will give back to the country something in return 
for what he gets. But if the conditions in which he finds 
himself placed in his new home are such as to cause him 
to preserve, or even increase, any low ideals, vicious habits 
or degenerate propensities that he may have, he is, by so 
much, a hindrance to the country of his adoption. 

As far as the Greeks are concerned, at least, it seems 
undeniable that the determination of the question, into 
which of these two categories the immigrant shall go, is 
largely a matter of distribution. It has been frequently 
remarked in the course of the preceding discussion, that 
the evil tendencies of Greek life in this country manifest 
themselves most fully when the immigrants are collected 
into compact, isolated, distinctively Greek colonies, and 
that when the Greek is separated from the group and 



thrown into relations with Americans of the better class, 
he develops and displays many admirable qualities. Our 
system and machinery for regulating the admission of 
aliens is very complete and well-organized. But we do 
practically nothing for them, after they are once inside 
the border. We talk with smug complacency of the mar- 
velous assimilative power of America. We are, in fact, by 
no means sure that these great hordes of foreign nation- 
alities are in any true sense assimilated, even after many 
years of residence in this country. It is assuming alto- 
gether too much to think that mere residence within the 
confines of the United States will make true Americans 
out of uncultured aliens, when, as we have seen in the case 
of the Greeks, a large proportion of them do not even learn 
the English language. It is a great question whether the 
United States is in any sense ready or fit, in its attitude 
toward the immigrant, or in its facilities for giving him 
the advantages of American life, to undertake the tremen- 
dous responsibility of receiving the immense hordes of 
foreigners who are flocking to our shores each year.* 

*A striking illustration of the truth of this statement oocnrred 
in the winter of 1908-09 in South Omaha, Nebraska. On Friday* 
February 19, a Greek in that city shot and kiUed a police officer who 
had arrested him for keeping company with a girl under suspicious 
circumstances. Hie following Sunday afternoon a mass meeting was 
held at the dty hall, at which addresses were made by two of the 
members of the state legislature, and a former city attorney. Tbe 
passions of the crowd became inflamed and they proceeded to the 
Greek quarter in a spirit of mad lawlessness, and ''cleaned it out,** 
burning buildings, smashing glass, and driving the deniaens out of tiie 
city. No lives were lost but the total damage was estimated at not 
less than |SK,000. An interesting sidelight on the event is thrown by 
the fact that many of those concerned in the riots, and probably the 
officer himself, were Irishmen. 


• a • « 4 

• " • 

• • • • » 


We have seen that many of the evils which attach to 
Greek life in this country are due to the fact that the pop- 
ulation is almost wholly male. How long this will con- 
tinue to be the case, there is no way of telling. It may 
be that within a few years Greek emigration will begin to 
have more of a family nature. In that case the future of 
the race in this country will be brighter. It will help to 
draw the Greeks away from the consolidated colonies, tend 
to throw them into closer relations witlf^^Sinerican fami- 
lies, and perhaps lead more of them to take up agricul- 
tural pursuits, which would be an undoubted improve- 

There is much about Greek life, as seen in Greece, that 
is very attractive, in the way of hospitality, courtesy, 
music, love of outdoors, and the tempering of business 
activity with a certain amount of leisure and social inter- 
course. If the immigrant Greek could add some of these 
elements, even in a very small measure, to the life of 
America, his presence would be a benefit to the country. 
On the other hand, America has much to give the Greek, 
in respect of commercial honesty, unselfishness, truthful- 
ness, harmony, stability, regard for women and children, 
and social virtue. But to accomplish these ends, the 
Greek and the American must know each other. Only as 
the conditions become such that the old inhabitants and 
the newcomer are thrown into close touch and personal 
relations with each other, can this mutual interchange of 
ideals and customs take place, and the fact of Greek immi- 
gration into the United States be made of advantage 
both to them and to us. 

*Gortsis, America and Americans, pages 71 and 73. 








Cities: AthenSt Pineiis, Patras, Volo, Syro, Ck>rfa. 

Steam flour mills 98 

Cotton mills 13 

Macaroni factories 44 

Machine shops and foundries S9 

Tanneries 91 

Carriage factories 31 

Soap factories 30 

Steam currant-cleaning factories 14 

OUve oU factories ^ . .11 

Straw hat factories 43 

Saddle and harness factories 36 

Chair factories 50 

Picture frame factories 98 

Roofing and tile factories 34 

Marble yards 76 

Shoemakers' shops 564 

* Reports of Consul-General George W. Horton» liK>5. 




Cufxoia T^Bim nr Ganci.* 
Reckoned in Gold Drachmas. 


Bicycles 90 each. 

Boots and shoes 15peroke.t 

Coffee 180 per 100 oices. 

Flour 17.Mperl00oke8. 

Lumber (pine or flr» in boards 90 milUmeteis tfaidc) 90 per cubic meter. 

Rice (cleaned) 17 per 100 okes. 

Saccharine Prohibited. 

Soap 150 per 100 okes. 

* Reports of Consul-General George W. Horton» 1906. 
t Hie oke is a little less than three pounds. 


Wages peb Day nr Gbbeck4 


Bride and stone layers 6-7 drachmas. 

Laborers S.60-4 dradmias. 

Carpenters 6-7 drachmas. 

Painters 4-7 drachmas. 

Plumbers 6.50-7 drachmas. 

Ootliing (mostly piece work; girls finishing suits 

by hand) 40-.50 drachmas. 

Compositors S.50-4 drachmas. 

Farm laborers (male) 3-3.75 drachmas. 

Farm laborers (female) .... 9 drachmas. 

Machinists 8 drachmas. 

Iron moulders 8 drachmas. 

In some occupations wages vaiy with the season. 

% Reports of Cousul-General George W. Horton, 1908. 




Pucis nr GmsiCK.* 

Bread (commoii) $ .036 pound. 

Bread (white) .06 pound. 

Butter (oxAdng) .38 pound. 

Butter (fresh) 1.30 pound. 

Cheese (macaroni) M pound. 

Coffee J3-96 pound. 

Salmon (canned) .54 pound. 

Fish (fresh) 15-38 pound. 

Flour .056 pound. 

Apples (fresh) .13 pound. 

Oranges M dosen. 

Ham (boiled) 1.04 pound. 

Lemons .19 dosen. 

Beef (sirloin) .17 pound. 

Beef (fillet) 38 pound. 

Lamb .38 pound. 

Lamb (yearling) .19 pound. 

Poric (fresh) .15 pound. 

Milk (fresh cow's) .54 gallon. 

Milk (goat's) 43 gallon. 

Oatmeal (Quaker Oats) .50 pound. 

Sugar .10 pound. 

Salt 09 pound. 

Tea (Ceylon) 1.30 pound. 

Petroleum .75 gallon. 

Wood (fuel) 10.00 ton. 

Coke • 10.00 ton. 

Charcoal 30.00 ton. 

Reports of Consul-General George W. Horton, 1906. 





Sugar 9 0.19 pound. 

Coffee .476 pound. 

Tea (medium quality) .815 pound. 

Flour .047 pound. 

Soap (washing) .095 pound. 

Com meal .068 pound. 

Lamb 30^ pound. 

Potatoes .034 pound. 

Salt .097 pound. 

Beans .095 pound. 

Bread .04 pound. 

Butter 137 pound. 

Oil 136 pound. 

Coke .004 pound. 

Wood 0047 pound. 

Rice 095 pound. 

Kerosene (.3513 gallon) 08 

Eggs 63 

Shoes 9.11-6.79 

Ordinary woolen suit 98.80 

Cheap cotton suit 4.80 

* Reports of Consul-General George W. Horton, 1906. 



TABI.K 6.» 

IxMioBAKT Gmsixa Abbiviko IV THZ Uvino Statu^ Fiscal Yiabs 

EiTDKD Juke 30. 

Year Male Female 


1883 ... 68 15 



34 3 



154 18 



95 9 



305 8 



768 14 



149 9 



464 60 



1,040 65 



604 56 



• • • • 



• • • • 



• • • • 



• • • • • 



546 95 



• • • • 



9;M3 139 



3,655 118 



5,754 165 



7,854 961 



13,885 491 . 



19,106 519 



11,586 558 



99,966 861 



44,647 1,636 



96,979 1,836 



18,738 1,594 


^Reports of the Coiniiii88ioiier<jieneral of Immigration. 




DmuBimox' of thi Paptrukxioir or thb Uvxied Scasbs 
GiBiOB Akovo thb DmrnBirT ScAxni, Erc^ 1900. 












New Hampshire^ 




New Jersey, 




New Meiico, 




New York, 




North Carolina, 


District of Columbia, 


North Dakota, 


















1,570 . 

Rhode Island, 




South Carolina, 


Indian Territory, 


South Dakota, 



18 . 
























West Virginia, 
















* United States Census, Voltune I^ Table 38. 




DonuBmnQx- of thz Gbixx PopuukTxoir of the 

THE Srcified Number of Cribs iir thi 

1 VAEioim 

Statu nr 1904. 

No. of 
Stote Cities 

No. of 


Alabama .... 3 










. .» 



. 13 






















Indian Territory 






. 3' 









Minnesota . 



Mississippi . 





- 1 





New Hampshire . 
New Jersey 
New YoA . 






North Carolina . 



North Dakota 



States iv 

^Thermopylae Almanac, 1904^ P^ges 306 seq. 




No. of 

Stote Cidea 


Ohio 91 






. 96 


Rhode Island 



South Carolina , 



South Dakota 









Utah . 












West Virginia . 






Wyoming . 



District of Columbia 



Alaska Territory 





Workers on railroads and in fac- 



Grand total 




TABLE 9.» 

Sex, Aoi aitd Illitekact of Geeexs Adsotted, Fucal Ybau Ekded 

Juki SO. 




Male Female 


3,655 118 

5,754 165 

7354 961 

13,885 491 14^76 

13,106 519 19,695 

11,586 558 19,144 

99,966 861 83,197 

44/147 1,636 46,983 

96,979 1,836 98,808 











1^45 46 and 
years over 

3.996 89 
5,938 175 

7.997 901 
19,951 940 
11,883 137 
11,593 175 
99,174 935 
45,169 995 
97,617 393 



Read but 
not write 

Neither read 
nor write 

Per cent Per cent 
niiterate Males 





































^Reports CommlBsioiier-Geiieral of Immigration. 



TABLB 10.» 

MaxMT Showv bt 



GiBBKS Admirbd to thb UirmD 
YiAU EvDED Juke SO.f 

Money Shownl 

Leas Total 

180100 or than Money 

Total Over |8aOD Shown 

3,773 346 9,071 9108,509 

5,010 500 4^095 09,145 

8,115 840 6,590 141,581 

14^76 1,814 10,860 960,019 

19,695 1,000 10,011 340,875 

19,144 1,159 10,310 331371 

93,197 1,571 90,013 * 545,611 

46,^ 9365 38,045 067^79 

98308 1,688 94^76 577^70 

per Capita 











Admitro«znto thb Unmo Statu Who Hayb Bi 
Beforb— FuGAX. Ybabs Ekded JnxB 30. 

1900 335 

1001 306 

1009 900 

1003 451 

1004 503 

. 1005 1391 

> 1006 1303 

' 1007 1,041 

1008 1,091 

'Reports of the Commissioner-General of Immigration. 

f These figures are not exact, as the total of the two classes given 
in the table does not coincide with the total immigration. 

^Beginning with 1004 the classification is on the basis of those wbo 
show 950 more or less, instead of $30. 



TABLB !!.• 


Bvmo Juins SO. 

Debarred 1900 1901 1908 1906 1904 1906 1906 190? 1908 

Feeble minded 3 

Insane persons 4 1 1 

Paupers, or likely to become 

public charges . . 63 70 67 474 4d9 193 366 393 917 
Loathsome or dangerous con- 
tagions diseases . 9 10 Id 99 46 100 31 107 116 

CouTicts • . • 1 6 .. 

Surgeon's certificate of defect 67 

Under sixteen years unac- 
companied 11 

Assisted aliens 1 

Criminals 3 

Accompanying aliens 94 16 7 

Contract Uborers . .4 9 1 111 63 60 439 63 44 
Total debarred . . 76 89 80 614 697 363 867 684 469 
Returned after 1, 9 or 3 years 9 9 9 9 91 10 10 91 67 
ReUeved in hospital . 41 31 61 191 100 70 189 367 
Per cent debarred . 9.0 13 1.0 4.3 4.9 9.9 3.7 1.3 1.6 
General per cent of total im- 
migration debarred . 0.96 0.79 0.76 1.09 0.98 1.16 1.19 1.09 1.39 


Reports of the Commissioner-General of Immigration. 



TABLE 19.* 


AoxxTnED^ FncAL Ykais Bkobd Jmnt SO. 





Laborers Laborers 

Total UnskUledt 


. 14 







. 17 







. 16 







. 44 







. 89 







. 79 







. 98 







. 87 







. 99 






'Reports of the Commissioner-General of Immigration. 

TABLE 13.* 




Albany, N. Y., 


Brockton, Mass., 


Allegjicny, Pa., 


Bridgeport, Conn., 


Altoona, Pa., 


BtifTalo, N. Y., 


Atlanta, Ga., 


Bntler, Pa., 


Augusta, Ga., 


Canton, Ohio, 


Aurora, IlL, 


Central Falls, R. I., 


Baltimore, Md., 


Charlotte N. C 


Berkeley, Calif., 


Cheyenne, Wyo^ 


Biddeford, Me., 


Chicago, IlL, 


Birmingham, Ala., 


Chicopee, Mass., 


Boise, Idaho, 


Cincinnati, Ohio, 


Boston, Mass., 


Clinton, Mass., 


•Gieek-American Goide, 1909, pages 359, 361. 



CleyeUnd, Ohio, 850 
Colorado Springs, Colo^ 150 

Colmnbiu, Ofaio^ 150 

Concord, N. H^ 150 

Cripple Creek, Colo^ 100 

Danbury» Conn^ 100 

Dayton, Ohio, 150 

Denver, Colo^ 600 

Des Moines, la., 150 

Detroit, Mich., 400 

Dover, N. H. 150 

Duluth, Minn., 100 

Ely, Key., 400 

Elsey, Ala., SOO 

Eureka, Nev., 190 

Fall River, Mass., 350 

Fitchbnrg, Mass., 900 

Fond du Lac, Wis., 130 

Fort Wayne, Ind., 150 

Fresno, Calif., 150 

Galveston, Tex., 300 

Garsten, Ala., 150 

Grand Rapids, Mich., 150 

Garfield, Utah, 400 

Harrisbnrg, Pa., 100 

Hartford, Conn., 150 

Haverhill, Mass., 700 

Holyoke, Mass., 150 

Indianapolis, Ind., 400 

Jacksonville, Fla., 150 

Kansas City, Kan., 100 

Kansas City, Mo., 450 

Klrmara, Idaho, 150 

Lancaster, Pa^ 100 

LaCrosse, Wi^., 100 

Laramie^ Wyo., 950 

Lawrence, Mass., 900 

Lewiston, Me^ 900 

Lincoln, Neb., 100 

Los Angeles, Calif., 600 

Lowell, Mass., 7,000 

Lynn, Mass., 1,500 

Madison, IlL, 190 

McKeesport, Pa., 900 

Manchester, N. H., 3,000 

Marlboro, Mass., 100 

Marysville, Calif., 100 

Memphis, Tenn., 900 

MUwanke^ Wis., 600 

Minneapolis, Minn., 300 

Mobile, Ala., 350 

Moline, IlL, 950 

Montgomery, Ala., 150 

Nashville, Tenn., 900 

Nashua, N. H., 1,500 

Newark, N. J., 500 

New Bedford, Mass., 450 

Newcastle, Pa., 140 

New Haven, Conn., 300 

New Orleans, La., 300 

Newport News, Va., 900 

Newport, R. I., 950 
N. Y. aty (Greater), 90,000 

Norwich, Conn., 900 

OaUand, CaUf., 450 

Ogden, Utah, 400 

Omaha, Neb., 1,500 

Orange, N. J., 400 

OroviUe, CaUf., 80 

Oneida, Idaho, 900 
Pawtncket, R. I., ^ 950 

^eabMy, M%ss., 300 

Pensacola, Fla., 950 

PhUaddphia, Pa., 1,800 

Pittsbnrg, Pa^ 3,500 

Pocatello, Idaho, SOO 

Portland, Ore., 1,500 

Pong^eepsie, N. Y., 900 

Providence, JL I., 500 

Pneblo, Colo., 900 

Reading, Pa., 350 

Reno, Nev., 150 



Roanoke, Va^ 100 

Rochester, N. Y^ 950 

Rock Island, IlL, 350 

Sacramento^ Calif., 850 

St. Louis, Mo., 9,000 

St Pan], Minn., 900 

Salem, Mass., 150 

Salida, Colo., 80 

Salt Lake aty, Utah, 9,000 

Santa Barbara, Calif., 80 

San Prandsco, Calif., 3,000 

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., 950 

Savannah, Ga^ 500 

Schenectad^r, N. Y., 950 

Seattle, Wash., 500 

Sheboygan, Wis., 450 

Sioux Falls, S. a, 100 

Somersworth, N. H., 900 

South Chnaha, Neb., 400 

Springfield, Mass., 300 

Stamford, Conn., 900 

Stockton, CaUf., 100 

Syracuse, N. Y., 975 

Tampa, Fla., 190 

Thompsonville, Conn^ 175 

Taunton, Mass., 150 

Terre Haute, Ind., 150 

Tarpon Springs, Fla., 1,000 

Topeka, Kan., 150 

Troy, N. Y., 100 

Utica, N. Y, 100 

Washington, D. C 400 

Wheeling, W. Va., 900 

Wilkesbarre^ Pa., 160 

Wilmington, DeL, 900 

Wdbum, Mass., 950 

Worcester, Mass., 450 

youngstown, Ohio, 100 

Yoik, Pa^ 100 

TABLE 14.* 


OF Gkbeks . 

THE UxmxD Statbs, FncAL Ybais 


E2n>ED Junk 30. 









































New Hamp., 










New York, 































• • 

• • 








New Jersey, 

• • 

• • 



• • 





* Reports of the Commissioner-^atoeral of Immigration. 



TABLE 15. 

Dmmnnoir or Gixkk IvDuaxusi Aicoiro vhk Cixiis or the Ukird 

[From the Themiopylae Almanac, 1904.] 

Nmnber of cities in the different states having at least one store 
of the type spediledt **" 

Candy Stores Fruit Stores 
















District of Colmnbia, 





































New Hampshire^ 



New Jersey, 



New York, 



North Carolina, 












Rhode Island, 



South Carolina, 










1 I 


West Virginia, 

9 ^ 







TABLE 16. 

Clameficatiov op AnvnxiiBMKins or Two Gopiks op the ''Ati.avtii,' 

OP Atbkaob CHA&ACm. 

(Issue of November 85, 1908.) 

Total advertiBiiig space (not want ads.) 725 square 

Steamship lines .... 

179 sq. in. 

Confectioners, confectioners' supplies and 

furniture .... 

114 sq. in. 

Doctors, medical institutes, etc . 

69 sq. in. 

General .... 


Private diseases 


Slioe polish 

45 sq. in. 


45 sq. in. 

Tobacco and tobacco stores 

34 sq. in. 

Banks ..... 

33 sq. in. 


31 sq. in. 

General stores (groceries) . 

30 sq. in. 


17 sq. in. 

Miscellaneous .... 

198 sq. in. 


795 square indies 

(Issue of November 11, 1908.) 
Total advertising space (not want ads.) 619 square 

Steamship lines 166 sq. in. 

Confectioners, confectioners' supplies and 

furniture 100 sq. in. 

Doctors, medical institutes, etc 80 sq. in. 

General .... 30 

Private diseases ... 50 

Shoe polish 50 sq. in. 

Miscellaneous 916 sq. in. 


619 square inches 

Note— The figures in tliis table do not include book advertise- 
ments inserted by the Atlantis Company, of which there are a large 



TABLE 17.» 


Imports from Greece 

Exports from the 
United SUtes to Grc 

Year into the United .States 

1808 ... 9 910^390 

9 197,559 




























'StotiBtical Abstract of the United Stotes, 1907, page 999. 





Baedeker, Karl . . . • Greece. 

Bailey, William B. . . . Modem Social Gonditioiu. 

Booras, John Tliennopylae Almanac, 1904 (Greek). 

Bushee Etlmlc Factors in the Population of 


Brandenburg^ B Imported Americans. 

Canoutas, S. G Greek-American Guide, 1900 

Commissioner - General of 

Inmiigration .... Annual Reports. 

Commons, John R. . • . Races and Immigrants in America. 

Cos, G. W General History of Greece. 

Edgar, W. C. Hie Story of a Grain of Wheat 

Gortsis, N America and Americans (Greek). 

Hall, P. F Immigration. 

Hull House Maps and Papers. 

\ Keller, A. G Colonisation. 

Kenngott, George F. . . . Housing Conditions in Lowell 


Lascarato, Andrew . . . The Mysteries of Cephalonia 


MalthuSy Thomas R. . . . Essay on Population. 

Perdicaris, G. A. . . • • Greece of tlie Greds. 

Ripley, William Z. . . . The Races of Europe. 

Smith, Adam Wealth of Nations. 

Steiner, E. A On the Trail of the Immigrant. 

United States Census Publications. 

Anthropological Review 

4:zciz., Quotation from Hyde Clarke, 
Anthropological Investigations 
in Smyrna. 

6:154^ J. B. D., Greek Anthropol- 
ogy, Reriew of NicoluocL 



Bent, J. Theodofe .... In m Gicck Fami^ To^aj. UttdTs 

Ufing Age* 1«:110. 
Graek PfeaMnt Life, UttdTs LMag 
Age» 170:090. 

Bladde, John Sturt . . . Cfaristum Greeee^ Blackwood^ 15Sr 

Modem Greeee^ Fomm, 83:113^ 

BlaAwood'u Ma§ntDe . . 48:409, 090, Modem Greece. 

07: 596, Modem Greece. 
76:408, Kinf Otlio and His Classic 

79:904, GreelE Cfanrdi. 

Chatttanqiian 14:573» Modem Greece and the Bal- 
kan States. 

d^Bstonraelles, P Superstitioiis of Modem Greece, 

Gentoiy, 11:580. 

Fiastman, G The Greco-Toridsh War, Chaatau- 

qiian, 95:348. 

Blliott, W. A The Modem Greek, Ghautauqaaii, 


Faircfaild, H. P Distributicm of Immigrants, Yale 

Review, November, 1907. 

Felton, Bonice W Industries of Modem Greece, lip- 

pincotfs, 34:388. 

Galloway, M. A. A. . . . Free Greece, Nineteenth Centnrjr, 


Gladstone, W. E Greece and the Treaty of Berlin, 

Nineteenth Century, 6:1191. 

Hanbury, R. W The Spoilt Child of Europe, Nine- 

teentii Century, 6:998. 

Harris, Walter B The Conduct and Present Condition 

of Greece, Bladswood's, 169: 96& 

Koeppen, A. L. . • . . Sketches of a Traveler from Greece, 

Mercersburg Review, 9:409. 

Lascaris Tlie Threatened Depopulation of 

Greece, Chambers' Journal, 

Lawrence, Eugene .... The Greek Churdi, Harper's Month- 
ly, 45:405. 

Lawton, W. C Greek Language, Ancient and Mod- 
em, Atlantic 56:399. 



Lloyd, Charles B. 
Lynch, Hannah 

Mahaffy, J. P. 

Manatt, J. Irving . 
New York Quarterly 

Norman, Henry • 

Penny Magaxhie 
Ripley, William Z. 

Saturday Review . 

Seymour, T. D. 

Speare, Charles P. 

Westminster Review . 

Wheeler, Benjamin Ide • 

Modem Greece, Cosmopolitan, 99 1 

Greece of To-day, Westminster Re- 
view, 139:155. 

Monasteries and Religion in Greece, 
Chautauquan, 9:1. 

The Present Condition and Pros- 
pects of Greece, Chautauquan, 

The Living Greek, Review of Re- 
views (American), 11:398. 

4:359, Greece, Past, Present and 

The Wreck of Greece, Scribner's, 


3: 339,347, Emigration to Greece. 

Races in the United States, Atlan- 
tic, December, 1908. 

58:733, Finance in Greece. 
84:333^456, Greece and Its People. 

Life and Travel in Modem Greece, 

Scribner's, 4:46. 
Life in Modem Greece, New Bng- 

lander, 46:359. 

What America Pays Europe for 
Immigrant Labor, North Ameri- 
can Review, January, 1908. 

30:74, Modem Greece. 

63:345, Character, Condition and 

Prospects of the Greek People. 
67:338, Review of "The Mysteries of 

Cephalonia," Lascarato. 
79:183, Modem Greece and the 


The Modem Greek as a Fighting 
Man, North American Review, 

The Royal Family of Greece, Cen- 
tury, 33:139. 



WiUcoz, Walter F. . . . The Distribution of Immigrants in 

the United States, Quarterly 
Journal of Economics, August, 

WilUamSy Cbarles .... The Tbessalian War of 1897, Fort- 
nightly Review, 67:959. 




Age of immigrants 113, 184 

Agents 79, 88» 91 

Agriculture 7, 61, 67, 81, S95 

Albanian influence 15, 18 

Ambassador to the United States 191 

Ancient language 50, 56 

Anthropology 19 

Assimilation 177, 306, dl8, S40 

Athens 18, 31, S3, 36, 39, 49, 63, 64, 70, 174, 175, 333 

Athletics 36, 134, 135, 309 

Atlantis 153, 333 

Berths on shipboard . . r. 101 

Birth certificates 184 

Bootblacks in Greece 173 

Bootblack shops 93, 137, 151, 160, 171 

Boston 167, 169, 186, 301 

Bulgaria 74 

Calamata 63, 67 

Candy 169 

Candy stores 93, 137, 159, 165 

Cham letter 87, 119 

CSiaracter, national 9, 13 

Chicago 118, 133 

Child labor (See also padrone system) 131, 145, 151, 184 

Cities in Greece 61, 333 

Coffee-houses 39, 36, 133, 135, 149, 306, 309 

Colonies, ancient 9 

Colonies in the United States 130 

Commercialism 34 

Commerce 340 

Committee, Greek, on emigration 337 

Consul, American 100 

Contract labor 89, 163, 177, 186 

Corinth Canal 65 

Courtesy 33 



Crete 31 

CriminaUty in Chicago liM, S36 

Criminality in Lowell 14tf 

Criminality in New Yorit 156 

CriminaUty in the United States 300, 339 

Crisis of 1907 84, 109, 113, 199, 220 

Cruelty to animals S7 

Currants 61, 64, 65, 76, 81 

Dancing 33, 49, 103 

Debarred immigrants 116 

Dependence in Chicago 133 

Dependence in Lincoln 164 

Dependence in Lowell 144 

Dependence in New York 151 

Dependence in the United States 193, 339 

Depopulation 333 

Deported immigrants ' 116 

Dishonesty 34, 66, 69, 147, 307 

Disinfection 95 

Distribution 117, 318,341 

Diversity of character 14 

Dowry 39, 93 

Drinldng 37, 48, 139, 305 

Early emigration 8 

Easter 49 

Economic conditions in Greece 60 

Education in Greece 40, 176 

Education in the United SUtes 143, 146, 158, 17^ 

Eikons 45 

Ellis Island 105, 184 

Embarkation 99 

English language 145, 318 

Environmental influence 6, 9 

Exchange, f aU in 71, 323 

Exploitation 140, 146, 187 

Exports 61, 64, 331 

Extent of Greek world 4, 11 

Factionalism 10, 65, 69, 139, 153, 155, 907 

Factory laborers 188 



FamUy Ufe 135, 138» 148, 198, 918 

Farmers 190 

Fasts 44, 73 

Female labor 99, 995 

Festivals 48 

Fishers 189 

Flower selling 19T, 151, 167 

Food, in Greece 63, 73 

Food, on shipboard 99, 103 

Food, in the United States 164, 180 

France 39, 76 

Fruit stores 137, 165 

Gambling 38, 95, 143, 905 

Germans 197 

Granunar 55 

Godfather 178 

Habitation-districts 6, 60 

Health 133, 145, 180, 199, 307, 316 

History 15, 31 

HoUdays 47, 68, 163, 179 

Hospital on shipboard 104 

Hotels and restaurants 137, 151, 153, 171 

HuU House 133,153 

Humor 37 

Ice cream parlors 137 

Illiteracy of immigrants 114 

Imports 68, 331 

Induced emigration 88, 91 

Industry 69, 67, 79, 933 

Inspection, in Greece 95, 97 

Inspection, in America 105 

Interest 71, 333 

Intermarriage 136, 138, 148, 198 

Irish 148, 197, 343 

Italians 133, 133, 195, 149, 151, 157, 159, 163, 166, 179, 173, 900, 909 

Jews 157, 196 

Juvenile delinquency 131, 158, 304 



Kings 16 

Laconia 133» i»5 

Laws on immigration, of the United States 89 

Laws on unmigration, proposed Greek S97 

Laws on immigration, violations of 183, 188 

Lincoln 159 

Uving conditions 195, 135, 148, 1G3, 164, 179, 198, 915 

LoweU 199, 13S 

Macedonia 191, 134, 146 

Maitliusian tlieory 7 

Marriage 39, 93 

Megalopolis 174, 175, 939 

Military service 59, 70, 997 

Mineral resources , 67 

Miners 190 

Monasteries 48 

Money 69, 70, 71, 85, 917 

Money, amount shown 116 

Money sent ''home'' 79, 78, 99, 161, 181, 191, 990, 991, 940 

Music 99 

Naturalization 909, 910 

Negro slaves 936 

New Haven 170, 901 

Newspapers, in Greece 91, 59, 64 

Newspapers, in Chicago 198 

Newspapers, in New York 153 

Newspapers, in the United States 909 

New York 199, 147 

Occupations, in Greece 7, 60, 64 

Occupations of immigrants 117 

Occupations in Chicago 194» 197 

Occupations in Lowell 135, 138 

Occupations in New York 150 

Occupations in the United States 165, 189, 938 

Orthodox church 49, 45, 59 

Orthodox church in Chicago 196 

Orthodox church in LoweU 141 



Orthodox church in New York 166 

Orthodox church in the United SUtes 908 

Orthodox community 190 

Orthodox community of Chicago 196, 1S9 

Orthodox community of Lowell 141 

Orthodox community of New York 166 

Padrone system 113, 197, 160, 179 

Panhellenic 163 

Panhellenic Union 191 

Patras 39, 63, 66, 79, 80, 94, 174 

Patriotism 36, 46, 164, 911 

Peddlers 198, 168, 909 

Peloponnesus 6, 174, 999 

Phylloxera 76 

Physical characteristics 19 

Political conditions 69 

PoUtics .34, 909, 910, 940 

Population, of Greece 60, 61, 994 

Population, Greek, of the United States 110 

Population, Greek, of Chicago 193 

Population, Greek, of LoweU 133 

Population, Greek, of New York 148 

Postal service 63 

Prices, in Greece 70, 81 

Priests 47, 48, 49, 79, 193, 196, 908 

Pronunciation 1 66 

Prosperity V. 199, 919, 916, 918 

Protestants j 38, 66, 69, 909 

Quality of immigrants 86 

Racial stock 16, 17, 60 

Railroads 6, 63 

Railroad laborers 163, 186 

Recreations 196, 169, 909 

Rents 70 

Restaurants (see hotels and restaurants). 

Returning emigrants 110, 116, 917, 938 

Roman Catholic C3iurch 49 

Roumania 74 




Sex of immigrants 112, 2S4 

Sexual morality 38, 131, 906 

Shipping 65, 72, 81 

Smyrna 5, 9, 39 

Social classes 60, 152 

Socialism 209 

Societies 126, 156 

Sources of emigration 85 

Sparta 63, 83, 84, 226 

Steerage conditions , 99 

Taxation 67 

Tenements 136, 149 

Tips 181 

Topography 5 

Trachoma 98 

Trade unions 209 

Transportation 62 

Transvaal, emigration to 70, 78 

Tripolis 63, 83, 91, 174, 192, 228 

Tsipiana 90, 231 

Tuberculosis 145, 199 

Turkey 5, 15, 32, 35, 39, 56, 78, 80, 88, 174, 210 

Volume of inunigration 109 

Voyage 100 

Wages in Greece 70, 226 

Wages in the United States 139, 151, 164, 180 

War of 1897 26, 31 

War of Independence 16 

Wealth in Greece 69 

Wealth in the United SUtes 151, 193 

White slave trade 226 


'^a oo. 

005 I G121 


3 hlQS QIO SHI Sbl 






(415) 723-9201 
All books may be recalled after 7 days